I was wondering why my cookies spread quite a bit. I don't use any baking powder and leave the batter rolled out over night in the fridge and then once the cookies are cut out I leave them for about an hour or so in the fridge before baking them.
It could be the récipe. The butter, or the amount or butter. I have a récipe that spread a lot, but if I whisk the egg with a fork it means less spread. I'm using Lupak butter now that is available in my country and is more solid that mexican butters(I used a mexican but is now hard to find), I know that it is more expensive. Now I baked 3d eggs with a récipe not intended for that and it worked really good. If you live in a very hot place you must try on freezer it Works better for me. With cookies to be piped with bag and big tips I really need 1 hour in freezer (chef recomendation), but that's my experience. Not all récipes need baking powder or baking soda like the paciencias.
I find it depends on the consistency of the butter when you first cream it. You might have too much butter or not enough flour to start with in your recipe. A good rule of thumb for me is to use really hard dough (you can crack apart the cold dough puck) and when I really work it my hands will warm it up just enough. If the cookie comes with the cutter then my cookies won't spread. If they don't come when I lift the cutter, then the dough is too warm and has a better chance of spreading.
Spread has a lot to do with the ratio of flour to fat in the recipe, and the type of fat in the recipe - and, of course, the amount of leavener to all else (though you don't use any). If too much fat to flour, the cookies will spread more. And all else the same, cookies with shortening spread less than those with butter, because shortening has a higher melting point. I find that chilling has less impact on spread than one might think. My recipe spreads as much regardless of whether I chill - but the spread is minimal, because I have a ratio of flour to fat that allows the dough to hold its shape. I always chill though, because I get much cleaner cuts of dough - dough is less likely to misshape - when I handle it firm and cold.
Recipe I am using :
2 cups salted butter, 2 cups sugar, 2 large eggs, 3 tsp vanilla, and 5 cups flour. Is there perhaps another recipe I can maybe try?
Thank you for all your responses.
The recipe I use only has 1 cup butter to 4 1/2 cups flour. It does have 5 eggs which sounds like a lot but that's what makes them so yummy ( 1 1/2 cups sugar,2 tsps vanilla)
I cream the the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla well and add the flour all at once in the end and only mix until incorporated. I put the dough in two or three flattened portions in plastic wrap in the fridge for at least three hours. After I roll and cut I put my cut cookies in the freezer for ten minutes just before baking. Hope this helps.
I use a recipe that has a relatively high ratio of butter to flour (1.5 Cups--3 sticks--of butter to 3.5 Cups flour,) so they have a tendency to spread a lot. I have found that a few ways to prevent spreading--for me and this recipe--are as follows: Roll out dough using flour and parchment paper (dust flour on top and bottom of dough and place it between sheets of parchment paper.) Cut with cutters dipped in flour. Use a Sil-Pat mat on the baking sheets. Freeze the cut-out cookies on the mat on the baking sheet for 1/2 hour before baking. Place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and bake on that. Increase the called-for oven temperature from 350 to 375 degrees F. and make sure it is fully preheated before baking. Allow the baked cookies to sit on the baking sheet to cool for 7 minutes before moving them to completely cool on racks.
It sounds like a lot of things to do, but my cookies used to spread like crazy, and I have discovered all these things through trial and error--and some lucky "mistakes." I hope one or all of them help you to achieve your goal of non-spreading cookies!
My sugar cookie dough recipe is the top post on my FB cookie page teripringlewood if you would like to try it