Family Holiday Tradition: A Day of Cookie Baking

Nothing says Christmastime like cookies! Gather the crew together for a delicious day of baking, decorating and, of course, eating. (Someone has to taste test them all, right?) Make it a day to remember with these baking secrets, ideas for dressing up sugar cookies and creative ways to display your edible masterpieces presented by our friends at Folgers®.

Top Tips for Terrific Cookies

  • Many cookie doughs, including sugar cookie, gingerbread and shortbread, can be made and frozen up to three months ahead of time. Double-wrap dough in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.

  • It's easier to work with chilled dough. And overhandling can cause tough cookies. When you're ready to roll out a batch, use only part of the dough and keep the rest in the fridge.

  • Parchment paper is a baker's best friend. It keeps your pans clean (just it throw away when done), and there's no need for greasing.

  • Always put cookies on a wire rack to cool. They'll continue to cook if you leave them on the cookie sheet, or get soggy if you put them on a platter right away.

Now the Fun Part…Decorating!

  • Play holiday music to keep the atmosphere upbeat and festive.

  • If there aren't cookies baking in the oven, light a candle with a sugar cookie or cinnamon scent.

  • Put cloth or paper down on the kitchen table. Set up a cookie decoration station by setting out small bowls of candies (nonpareils, sugar pearls and colored sprinkles), shredded coconut, colored sanding sugar and crushed peppermints.

  • Put several colors of royal icing or frosting in plastic squeeze bottles or pastry bags. This keeps the work area tidier and makes decorating easier for little hands.

  • You know who's coming to town. Don't forget to make extra cookies for the big guy!

Pretty Presenting and Packaging Ideas

  • Arrange treats into festive shapes. Form a cookie wreath on a snowy white platter. Or stack cookies into the shape of a Christmas tree.

  • Decorate mason jars with ribbon and fabric. Stack cookies inside for everyone to see.

  • Make a cookie tree by hanging a batch from a bare branch set in a tall vase. Use a skewer or tiny straw to poke a small hole near the top of each cookie before baking. Once cooled and decorated, thread cookies with ribbon and hang as you would ornaments.