My first purchase with my HomeGoods employee discount was a cookie scoop. It was the early 2000s, and I had been watching Ina Garten make chocolate chunk cookies on Barefoot Contessa, admiring the precise, equal-size dollops she dropped across the baking sheet. And so, browsing through baking gadgets during my lunch break, I bought a scoop as close to a 1¾” diameter as I could find (following Ina’s very specific instructions). I went home with my shiny new Oxo Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop and immediately started making dough. Since that fateful day I’ve used it to bake countless batches of consistent meticulously shaped cookies and each time I wonder how I ever managed without one. This is all to say, if you bake cookies even twice a year, you need a cookie scoop in your arsenal.
Why do I need a cookie scoop?
The biggest benefit of using a cookie scoop instead of any ol’ spoon (or your hands) to transfer cookie dough from the mixing bowl to the cookie sheet is also the most obvious: It creates consistency—the exact same size, shape, and diameter—among each cookie. While having uniform cookies makes for an attractive, professional-looking final presentation, Garten preaches that it also ensures that the cookies bake evenly, and thus, taste perfect too. Plus, using a scoop will keep your hands clean and speed up the shaping process. I’m not sure how many different ways I can say this, but if you’re wondering if this kitchen tool is worth it, it is.
What size cookie scoop should I get?
The cookie scoop size you should use depends on a few factors, like how much the cookie dough you’re working with will spread and the desired sizes of cookie you’d like to gobble. You’ll often find cookie scoops ranging from #70 (which dispenses about 2 tsp. of dough) to #30 (2 Tbsp.). Since a cookie dough scoop is essentially an ice cream scoop, the numbers correspond to the number of scoops you can get from a quart of ice cream—so the higher the number, the smaller the scoop. For most cookie recipes we recommend using a #30 or #40 scoop, which holds about 1½ Tbsp. of dough. To make a slightly larger cookie—like our favorite chocolate chip cookies ever—we recommend using a #20, which holds about 3 Tbsp. of dough.