Cookie scoops operate just like ice cream scoops - which they probably were until some enterprising housewife figured out the tool could be used for a lot more than scooping ice cream!
These scoops have sturdy no-nonsense handles that can take repeated swipes through thick batter without bending or breaking. They fit in our hand perfectly, so it's a lot easier to dig into a deep bowl and come up with a full scoop. Most models also have a wiping mechanism on the interior surface of the scoop so that by squeezing the handle, the wiper un-sticks the ball of dough from the scoop.
We've seen them in just about every size imaginable, but the most useful would be the teaspoon, the tablespoon, and the double tablespoon. The tablespoon is appropriate for most cookies, but the others would be handy for variety.
Besides cookies, we could see using these to portion muffin batter, roll truffles, shape meatballs, and yes, even scoop ice cream!
Here are a few models we've been eying:
• OXO Medium Cookie Scoop ($11.99 from Amazon.com) - A good basic model with OXO's signature comfort grip. It also comes in small and jumbo sizes.
• Zeroll Cookie Scoops ($54.95 for a set of three from King Arthur Flour) - A fancier hand mechanism, and we know we can trust King Arthur when it comes to quality baking tools.
• Piazza Scoop ($26 from Williams-Sonoma) - Williams-Sonoma is another name we trust, though we wish they offered more sizes.
Do you use cookie scoops?