Top tips for perfect holiday cookies
If you've been scarred by previous attempts at baking cookies (sticky dough? unrecognizable shapes?) we’ve compiled our top tips to take out the stress of holiday baking and make baking cookies fun and easy. Let's go!
Stop the spread
To prevent your cookies from spreading (and losing their shape), chill your cookie dough after pressing. This also helps to concentrate the flavour in your cookies.
Always use a cool baking sheet – if you place your cookies on a warm baking sheet the fat in the dough will melt too quickly, causing your cookies to spread out and lose all the details you spent so long cutting out!
So if you’re making multiple batches, make sure your cookie sheet has time to cool down before adding your next batch to the tray.
Stay close to home
If you can, homemade dough made from scratch is best (we have our go-to recipe below). However - while we think the flavor and quality of homemade dough far surpasses store bought, if you're short on time (or culinary skills), feel free to use ready-made dough...but refer back to tip 1!
Having trouble with sticky dough? Chill your dough for an hour or so before rolling (you can also try chilling it for 10-20 minutes in between the rolling and cutting stage).
Another way to prevent sticking is to roll out your dough between two pieces of floured parchment paper, which should make it easier to pick up after cutting. Or, simply transfer the bottom sheet of parchment with your cut-out cookies on it directly to your cookie tray.
Resist the temptation to take your cookies off the tray as soon as they’re done in the oven – let them rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to firm up before transferring to a cooling rack.
Inspired to get busy baking? Read on for our tried and true simple sugar cookie recipe.
Simple cookie recipe
- 7oz / 200g unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 ¼ cups superfine granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- 2 ¾ cups plain flour
Preheat oven to 175C / 350F.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process for a minute or until well combined. Add the vanilla, eggs and flour and continue processing until mixture is fully combined and comes together in the processor.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface, knead lightly then form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough between sheets of baking paper until about 1/4 inch / 5mm thick. Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Gather left over dough, knead gently then roll out again and cut out more cookies.
Chill for approximately 10 minutes prior to baking to preserve details of the cut out shapes.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden. Cool and decorate (if desired).