Its that time of year again – the trees are up, decorated and lit, the stockings are carefully hung, and the fragrant scent of pine fills the air. For many, the sweet aroma of freshly baked holiday cookies tickles the senses in anticipation of the sugary transcendence that will surely ensue. So here are 5 simple and helpful baking tips to make sure you don’t mess that up!
1. Make sure the butter is at room temperature
Most cookie recipes require you to cream butter and sugar together for the first step. To insure equal distribution of the butter and sugar, make sure your butter is room temperature. If not, you can microwave 1 stick/4 oz for about 10 seconds to soften it. Now you won’t have ugly chunks of butter throughout your dough.
2. Don’t over cream!
Ever wonder why your cookie seemed to have spread far and wide and is flat as a pancake? This is because you creamed the dough too much. After you add the dry ingredients – i.e. flour, cream just enough to combine.
3. Baking more cookies on one pan is not better or faster
Make sure you leave enough space in-between your cookies depending on size. For a large scoop of cookie dough, leave at least two inches to avoid a creating a massive uni-cookie. Side tip: for spooned cookie doughs, use an ice cream scoop for beautifully proportioned and evenly shaped cookies.
4. Use parchment paper!
Use of parchment paper is so helpful in preventing the cookie from sticking while making clean-up quick and easy. It also allows you to gently lift and check the bottom of your cookie for the level of doneness; preventing burnt, extra crispy cookies.
5. Make sure your cookies are completely cooled
For the best decorating and to avoid a major frosting catastrophe – frosting oozing down and around the sides of the cookie, make sure the cookies have cooled completely and come to room temperature. This helpful tip also applies to cookie eating.