Holiday Cookie Baking Tips: I’m Lovin’ It


Learn ten tips for cookie baking success during the holidays.

Holiday Cookie Baking Tips at

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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!!

I'm Lovin It Party at every week!

I’m Lovin’…….Holiday Cookie Baking

Now it’s your turn! Please remember to link back to

Let us know what you’re lovin’ this week!

*Don’t forget to come back over the weekend for the I’m Lovin’ It Wrap Up post……where I feature a few of the great links!!

What is I’m Lovin’ It Fridays? get all the info, how to’s trouble shoot and button here

more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, 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+

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

  1. Cranberry Morning posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm (#)

    Ummmmm! Russian Teacakes – My FAVORITE! I haven’t made any yet because I’m waiting for the grandkids to get here. I think they would enjoy helping me bake Christmas cookies. Yours look delicious! :-)

  2. Sue posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm (#)

    This is going to be the year that I make your Santa belly cookies! Great tips!

  3. Lyuba @willcookforsmiles posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm (#)

    Great tips, Cheryl! Thank you :)
    Thank you for the party!

  4. Shannah @ Just Us Four posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm (#)

    Thanks so much for hosting! Happy {almost} Friday!

  5. Chelsea @ Making Home Base posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm (#)

    Thanks so much for hosting, Cheryl!! Happy Thursday!

  6. posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm (#)

    Thanks for hosting Cheryl!

  7. Trish - Mom On Timeout posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm (#)

    Thanks so much for hosting Cheryl!

  8. Jelli posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:59 pm (#)

    Thanks for the fiesta, Cheryl. I just stopped by to link up and catch up on your weekly posts. What a great surprise to find so much good content and fantastic giveaways!

  9. Heather @French Press posted on December 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm (#)

    Fabulous tips! Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. Kelly posted on December 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm (#)

    FABULOUS TIPS!!! Oh my goodness… I am so excited about your rolling the dough tip/video. Brilliant for a newbie like myself. LOVE-LOVE-LOVE Russian Tea Cake Cookies. Thanks so much for the invaluable tips, Cheryl. HUGS.

  11. Karyn - Pint Sized Baker posted on December 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm (#)

    Great tips, Cheryl. Here’s one from a fellow blogger – add paper towels between layers of cookies before freezing them. That way when they are defrosting the paper towel will absorb any condensation and keep the cookies fresh!.
    Have a super weekend, Cheryl. Thanks for hosting!

  12. Robin @ Bird On A Cake posted on December 6, 2012 at 9:58 pm (#)

    Your Russian tea cakes look like the cookies my mom calls Mexican wedding cakes. They are my favorite thing she makes at Christmas. :) Thanks for hosting, Cheryl!

  13. Darcy Cummings posted on December 6, 2012 at 9:59 pm (#)

    Great tips so glad I found you!

  14. Janet @ Frugal & Focused posted on December 6, 2012 at 10:07 pm (#)

    Great tips! Thanks for hosting!

  15. Jocelyn posted on December 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm (#)

    I love all those wonderful cookie tips! Thanks for sharing and for hosting!!!

  16. Lisa @hooplapalooza posted on December 6, 2012 at 11:09 pm (#)

    yippee! thank you Cheryl! no more dust storms of flour all over my counter, yelling at the rolling pin for all the sticky dough around it or hard cookies from the overabundance of flour! oh and thanks so much for the party by the way-LOL

  17. Sandra posted on December 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm (#)

    Thank you for these tips! I’ve always done TONS of holiday baking, but having a 2 month old, I didn’t know if I’d be able to do any this year. Your tips make it seem doable, which got me very excited!

  18. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen posted on December 7, 2012 at 12:09 am (#)

    Yikes! According to this, I do so many things wrong…Although I did think of using cocoa on my dark dough today. I didn’t, but I did at least think of it :)

  19. Diane (createdbydiane) posted on December 7, 2012 at 12:32 am (#)

    Great tips Cheryl :) wonderful post!

  20. Mel posted on December 7, 2012 at 2:17 am (#)

    Thanks for hosting xo

  21. Sarah @ Alderberry Hill posted on December 7, 2012 at 4:39 am (#)

    I am happy to be linking here this week, thanks so much for this wonderful party. Happy Friday!{Hugs}

  22. Beverly posted on December 7, 2012 at 8:43 am (#)

    Great collection of tips!… And thank you for the printout… It is going in my Cookie Book right now :)

  23. HeatherChristo posted on December 7, 2012 at 9:46 am (#)

    What a great list of tips Cheryl! I’m going into major baking mode this weekend so I will take note!

  24. Jen @ Four Marrs & One Venus posted on December 7, 2012 at 10:16 am (#)

    Party Rockers in the House tonight! :) Thank you for the party lady– super excited to link up with you! I just love your page…posts..and Hair 😉 yep– jen here..that annoying “I love your hair” girl! Have a wonderful weekend!

  25. Kristy Life-n-Reflection posted on December 7, 2012 at 10:30 am (#)

    All this cookies are making me droll! 😉

  26. Aimee @ ShugarySweets posted on December 7, 2012 at 11:26 am (#)

    Thanks for hosting Cheryl, I’m a bit late the party :) I like to close it down!!! Like the party guest that shows up late and never leaves :)

  27. Amanda posted on December 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm (#)

    I never get tired of that video! :) AWESOME tips Cheryl!

  28. Amy @ Living Locurto posted on December 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm (#)

    Just watched your video. I think I might try making cookies now!

  29. Cheryl @ That's What Che Said... posted on December 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm (#)

    Once again Cheryl…Thank you for the great party! I look forward to browsing all the awesomeness as much as I look forward to linking up myself!! Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo – Cheryl

  30. Meredith @ Wait Til Your Father Gets Home posted on December 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm (#)

    You have totally put me in the mood to make Christmas cookies now!! YUM!!

    Thanks for hosting :o)

  31. Crystal posted on December 8, 2012 at 12:11 am (#)

    Fabulous tips! I can’t wait to make cut-out cookies after the video. It is a family tradition to make them and decorate them as a family. I hate all the flour and mess. This year is going to be different thanks to your tips! Thanks a bunch!

  32. Jenni@MomEssentials.Net posted on December 8, 2012 at 4:35 am (#)

    Thanks for letting me share my own recipe of tasty and delicious
    Roasted Maple Nuts!

    Here’s the link:

  33. Raquel @ Organized Island posted on December 8, 2012 at 9:26 am (#)

    Love the baking tips! Thanks for the party!

  34. Brian @ A Thought For Food posted on December 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm (#)

    Such wonderful tips! Happy holidays!

  35. Brenda posted on December 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm (#)

    Great party! Great baking tips!

  36. Kate@Diethood posted on December 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm (#)

    Thank you for sharing all these amazing tips! Have a great Sunday!

  37. Angie @ Big Bear's Wife posted on December 10, 2012 at 9:59 am (#)

    Love all of these tips! I just recently started “mixing everything one day” and “baking the next”, it is sooo much less stress that way!!

  38. nest of posies posted on December 10, 2012 at 11:41 am (#)

    i’m the world’s worst at making cookies. i need all the help i can get!

  39. aida mollenkamp posted on December 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm (#)

    Such fabulous tips!

  40. 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.

  41. 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. 

  42. 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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