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.