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Holiday Cookie Baking Tips: I’m Lovin’ It

 

Learn ten tips for cookie baking success during the holidays.

Holiday Cookie Baking Tips at TidyMom.net

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Every December, my kitchen takes on a magical transformation……….. my counters are covered in a thick blanket of flour and powdered sugar, red and green sprinkles can be found in every corner, and the sink is a never ending pile of greasy bowls, dye stained quirt bottles and spatulas of every size.

Whether it’s a plate of family favorites for the office or five dozen for the annual Cookie Swap, it’s time to crank out the holiday cookies for gift giving, or just a plate for ol’ Saint Nick, and put my dear old KitchenAid mixer to the test.  Here’s a few of my favorite tips to keep the stress levels down while cookie baking during the holidays.

russian tea cake cookie recipe

 10 Tips for Successful Cookie Baking during the Holidays

 

1.  Read your recipe.  This sounds silly to even say, but read your cookie recipe carefully before starting.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a hurry, glanced over the ingredients and started a recipe, only to discover it has to sit several hours or over night, or there’s a step I’m not quite sure how to do and need to research or ask questions.  So be sure you have all the ingredients and that you understand the recipe clearly.

2. Give yourself two days. These don’t have to be two days in a row.  Do all of the mixing on one day and the baking on another.  When you try to do all your mixing and baking of several batches into one day, you’re more likely to end up exhausted, stressed and feeling a little “bahumg”.  Another option is to mix up one batch each night through out the week, and stick them in the refrigerator, then do all the baking on another day.

extra tip: Almost any cookie dough (roll out or drop) can be refrigerated for a week or so before baking.  Most cookies will actually improve after a day or two in the fridge; like I learned when I researched  The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

eggnog cookies

spiked eggnog cookie recipe

3. Don’t grease your cookie sheets. Use parchment paper or silpats instead. Makes for easier clean up and your cookies come out looking beautiful.  Non-stick spray can build up on your pans over time.  That black gunk that accumulates in the corners is next to impossible to remove.

extra tip:  for drop cookies, use a cookie scoop to assure that all of your cookies are the same size and will bake evenly

4. Don’t use flour to roll out your cookies.  For light colored dough, use powdered sugar, and for for chocolate cookies, use cocoa powder.  Or you can simply use waxed paper like I do. (see video below)

santa bellies

santa bellies cut out cookies

5. When rolling dough, use guides to measure the thickness. The secret to nice cut out cookies, it making sure you’ve rolled the dough thick enough, but not too thick.  Use 1/4″ wooden sticks from the craft store to lay on each side of your dough as a guide while you roll.  Take a look at the video I did a while back for University of Cookie.

How to roll out cookie dough for cut out cookies {video}

 

extra tip: If you don’t have the sticks, you can just roll out your dough and use a ruler or  handful of change to check your thickness.   A stack of three quarters is about 1/4” thick. Two dimes are about 1/8”.

 6.  Freeze cut out cookies before baking.  Have you ever baked cut out cookies only to pull them out of the oven and see that they spread and didn’t hold their shape?  After you cut them out and place them on the cookie sheet, pop them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before putting them in the oven to bake.  This will help the cookie hold it’s shape.

extra tip: Remove your cookies from the oven just before they look done. A tan cookie will be more dense and pliable than a golden cookie.

TidyMom contributor, Kelly, made a cute little printable for you.  This would be cute as part of a gift of cookies, with a recipes, cookie sheet, spatula and pot holders!

cookie tips

click and download to print FREE Holiday Cookie Baking Tips

How to Freeze Cookies to Decorate Later

More Holiday Cookie Recipes

TidyMom Holiday Cookies

Don’t forget to enter all of the fabulous TidyMom holiday giveaways going on  right now! Enter to win a KitchenAid Mixer | Desserts in Jars Cookbook | $650 10-piece Le Creuset  Cookware Set | Breville Smart Oven

 

Do you have a tried and true favorite cookie baking tip?  Share them in the comments below!!

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Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

64 Responses to “Holiday Cookie Baking Tips: I’m Lovin’ It”

  1. Andrea Merrigan posted on December 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm (#)

    Thanks for all the great tips. I bake all the time, but some of these tips are new to me! I shared your post on my Weekend Wanderings post today.

  2. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes posted on November 22, 2014 at 10:48 am (#)

    I really like the idea of mixing the dough and baking on different days. I’ll have to give that a try. 

  3. Christi Pike posted on December 4, 2014 at 3:57 am (#)

    I think something that I learned – after many years of cookie baking – is always be sure that your ingredients are room temperature before starting the dough.  Softened butter is my worst!  I never think ahead.  What I have learned to do is microwave the butter on each side for 5 seconds and it is a great consistency for baking!

    • TidyMom replied on December 4th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      yes!! great tip!

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