Drop cookies are the easiest and quickest cookie to make. Sometimes there is chilling before baking, but not likely. The biggest disadvantage to drop cookies is that you have the mess of cookie making still in the kitchen and you are trying to juggle a hot baking sheet, cooling racks, and children underfoot.
A little organization goes a long way. Because drop cookies are such an instant gratification cookie, I have always been tempted to start the trip without packing my suitcase! Invariably I will have cracked the egg into the creamed butter and sugar and discover that I had no flour. Or, that the chocolate chips I had were rancid.
If ever the idea of “mise en place” (pronounced mees en plahs) was in order, it is definitely with drop cookies. Mise en place is a French term you might encounter in reading a recipe. It means “put in place”. Setting out ingredients is a very good idea, making sure that you have all the ingredients necessary for the recipe and that they are at the right temperature or form.
Look at the recipe ingredients. If the recipe has been written out correctly, ingredients should be listed in order of use. Before even “mise-ing” anything into place, you should make sure that you are not missing anything. Once you have your “mise en place” the next thing is to read over the directions. If nuts are listed, should they be toasted? Chopped? Should chocolate be melted and cooled? Chopped? And so forth. Once the ingredients are gathered and the mincing, chopping, grinding, etc.., is accomplished, the next BIG thing is to put away each ingredient as it is used!!! When the cookies come out of the oven you will be ever so grateful for the counter space.
Drop cookies are very forgiving as far as keeping their shape. However, cookies do better when they are placed on a clean, cool baking sheet. I recommend using parchment paper. Most of the time you can simply wipe down the parchment paper with a sponge and re-use it in your next batch. But if you don’t, you need to wash your baking sheets between batches and make sure that when you drop the cookie dough on it, the baking sheet is cool enough so that the dough does not start to spread.