How to Form Perfectly Sized Cookies (or Meatballs) Every Time

December  8, 2015

You could use a tablespoon or ice cream scoop to get perfectly-sized, uniform cookie dough balls (or meatballs), scooping, leveling, dislodging into your hand, and then rolling so they're round balls instead of half spheres.

Or, you could do it an easier way.

Roll out, cut, roll up. Photo by Bobbi Lin

We learned this trick from the February/March issue of the now-defunct Publix FamilyStyle Magazine:

  1. On a piece of parchment paper, roll out or press your mixture into a rectangle.
  2. Trim the sides so they're straight. Roll the side bits into a ball or two (or if it's cookie dough, eat it and tell no one).
  3. Using a sharp paring knife, cut the rectangle into even squares. To make sure you're getting even squares, you could use a ruler, but I use my fingers (they already have food on them): Place a certain number of fingers on the dough, mark with a little knife cut, then cut all the way along.
  4. Roll each square into a ball. That's it!

If your recipe calls for each ball to be a certain size, you can play with the square size to see which will give you what you're looking for. Cut one row of various sized squares, roll to see which is the right one for the job, pick the winner, then cut the rest of the dough.

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phyllis December 9, 2015
It sounds like more effort than an ice cream scoop, but it's cute and a good way to teach kids some math.
theresa M. December 9, 2015
so, you have to have a large surface to roll it all out, cut it evenly, and then roll it into a ball? how is this easier than an ice cream scoop (or two spoons)? it's also a bad idea because it works the dough, or meat, more than you should. making less tender cookies and hard meatballs.
cookingguy December 8, 2015
Or you can weigh them.
Greenstuff December 8, 2015
Really, it just takes a little experience to roll consistently sized meatballs and cookies. Make meatballs once a week for a few weeks, and you'll have that skill forever.
Franca December 8, 2015
Why would you go to all the trouble of rolling and cutting when you can scoop right out of the bowl the dough has been mixed in?
Shelley M. December 8, 2015
But you have to clean the cookie scoop. ;-)
[email protected] December 8, 2015
Sounds like more effort than the easy cookie scoop!