If you don’t have a scale and aren’t weighing your flour, the best method of measuring, in my opinion, is to spoon it in the cup and level the top. However, if you are spooning the flour into the cup and shaking the cup as you go, stop! Shaking is another form of packing. Spoon the flour so that it heaps over the top of the cup and gently sweep. I have to remind myself this every time, as I have a strong urge to shake the cup. I taught myself to bake 30 years ago and some bad habits die hard.
Here’s something you may not know and something I am just learning.
If you’ve had problems with flat cookies, you may want to try using bleached flour. At least as a test. I know some people hate the idea of bleached flour, but after several experiments and incidences recounted by friends, there’s evidence that unbleached flour, which sometimes has a higher protein content, contributes to flatter cookies. And if you dont’ believe me, here’s a more scientific explanation from RLB…..and she would know.
That doesn’t mean you have to switch to bleached flour, it just means you might want to change brands or use a different recipe for whatever cookie you are having problems with (e.g. The Toll House recipe).