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Rolled vs. Drop Cookies

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Emme May 23, 2004 07:13 PM

Perhaps someone can enlighten my perspective a bit further. I've done some research as to the difference between rolled and drop cookies. I find that drop cookies tend to be puffier and chewier in the center obviously due to the initial shape, and the flattening of rolled cookies lends to a more thin crispy cookie. On the other hand, I know that the type of fat you use, be it shortening, butter, lard or some combo, also contributes to the chewy/crispy texture.

So what I'm wondering is what are the other differences between rolled and drop cookies? I've been looking through different recipes trying to identify a consistent pattern of the ratio of wet to dry ingredients in the two kinds of cookies but have yet to find anything consistent. Also, which kind do you prefer to make and why?

TIA,
Emme

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    Buttercup RE: Emme May 24, 2004 11:50 AM

    I like drop cookies because I can make them really quickly and with less mess. I use a cookie scoop, which looks like a tiny ice cream scoop. Also, my attempts at rolled cookies have not turned out well.

    There's another type, the refrigerator cookie, in which the dough is shaped into a log and chilled. You then make slices of the log, and bake the slices.

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      Buttercup RE: Emme May 24, 2004 11:50 AM

      I like drop cookies because I can make them really quickly and with less mess. I use a cookie scoop, which looks like a tiny ice cream scoop. Also, my attempts at rolled cookies have not turned out well.

      There's another type, the refrigerator cookie, in which the dough is shaped into a log and chilled. You then make slices of the log, and bake the slices.

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        Caitlin McGrath RE: Emme May 24, 2004 12:28 PM

        I would venture to guess that the different textures assoiated with drop and roll cookies are as much a result of the handling of the dough (working the fat/flour through rolling, as opposed to simply dropping without working) as their composition.

        As for what I prefer, they're just two entirely different animals. Drop cookies are quick, casual, and often have a semisoft texture, plus they're the ideal vehicle for chunky ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, and dried fruit. I definitely put these first, with refrigerater cookies (the kind you shape in a log and slice) second, as far as my own baking goes. I don't make many rolled cookies, but that's not from an aversion to making them. It's more that I don't particularly go for sugar cookies, which the majority are, and some I do like, like gingerbread cut-outs, are very seasonal. (I make a drop ginger cookie if I want ginger cookies at non-holiday times.) And it's just as easy, or easier, to use a refrigeator cookie for delicate cookies than rolled dought, as long as you don't care about having cookie-cutter shapes.

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          curiousbaker RE: Emme May 24, 2004 02:53 PM

          I prefer chewy drop cookies or rolled shortbread. I love rolling, cutting and decorating sugar, gingerbread and other rolled cookies, but don't particularly care for the flavor or texture. There are some exceptions, of course, like very thin, crisp ginger cookies. But overall, I like a big, soft, chewy cookie - very American of me. I've never analyzed the difference in composition, although it seems that rolled cookies would require a higher minimum of flour to handle the rolling. Still, that would just be the minimum - the average might be close to the same. You might experiment with trying to roll out a favorite drop cookie, something without big nuts or chocolate chunks, of course - oatmeal, maybe? I expect that most drop cookies could be rolled if the dough were chilled first (I often chill drop cookie dough anyway, to ensure a thicker, chewier, rather than a thinner/crisper cookie).

          My favorite cookie is one I made after finding Frontier natural walnut flavoring at the supermarket. Chewy walnut cookies made with walnut halves, walnut flavoring and dark brown sugar. Yum. Drop, of course.

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