Ina Garten's Surprising Trick For Making Perfectly Sized Cookies

By now, you may have mastered the art of haphazard, fresh out of the oven cookie shaping — thanks again, TikTok — but there may just be a way to get a perfectly round, even batch of sweets before you have to get the tray in (or out of!) the oven.

Rounding out and sizing your cookies isn't just for the aesthetics, either (although it sure doesn't hurt, especially when it comes time to dunk it in a cold glass of milk). According to Bake or Break, getting each cookie down to the same size and shape makes for a more thorough and even baking process. If some are larger, they may require more time in the oven...and, well, no one has time for that.

To nail down the art of consistently sized cookies, celeb chef Ina Garten shared a pro tip on the Ask Ina section of her website Barefoot Contessa, and we're certainly taking notes for our next foray into a batch of oatmeal raisin.

Grab your cookie scoop (and maybe a ruler)

Cookie scoops are geared towards the professional baker, and that's no wonder, considering they yield such professional results. In 2017, Lisa McManus of America's Test Kitchen shared some little-known facts about the cookie scoop with Splendid Table. She explained that scoops are typically numbered (like #24) as opposed to sized — this essentially means that it'll take 24 of that exact size scoop to equal a quart. For a casual home baker, this isn't an ideal form of measurement, and that's where Garten comes in.

One writer asked Garten what to do when you have unmarked scoops, and Garten's response was surprisingly simple: "I would recommend using a ruler to measure the diameter of your scoops." Easy enough!

She says that her preference is "a standard 1 3/4-inch rounded scoop for cookies," and it always does the trick to keep things even. If you're going to try your hand at muffins or cupcakes, a 2 1/4-inch option should be perfect to prevent any wonky spillage and to keep each treat the same size across the board. So if you're scratching your head wondering what in the world the number on your cookie scoop is supposed to mean, skip the unnecessary math and snag the size Garten recommends instead.