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Tips for Cutout Cookies

Use a light touch when handling the dough; overhandling will cause the cookies to be tough.

For easier handling, refrigerate the dough before rolling. This is especially true if the dough was made with butter rather then shortening.

Lightly dust the rolling pin and work surface with flour to prevent sticking. Working too much extra flour into the dough will result in tough cookies.

Roll out a portion of the dough at a time and keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator. Roll out from the center to the edge, keeping a uniform thickness and checking the thickness with a ruler. If the thickness of the dough is uneven, the cookies will bake unevenly. Thinner cookies will be crisp and may burn, while thicker cookies will be chewy.

To prevent the dough from sticking to the cookie cutter, dip the cutter in flour or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.

After the dough is rolled out, position the shapes from the cookie cutters close together to avoid having too may scraps. Save all the scraps and reroll them just once to prevent tough cookies.

To keep the cutouts intact before and after baking, transfer them to and from the baking sheet with a large metal spatula or pancake turner that supports the entire cutout.