Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Cookie (& Cards) Monday!

Christmas cards took priority over cookies today. It's amazing how much time it takes to cut cardstock, print a nice greeting, cut ribbon to size, hole punch cardstock for ribbon, tie ribbon, adhere photo, address envelope, stamp envelope, and stuff envelope (assembly line style, times 100 cards). During which, I might add, three high-on-Christmas-cheer kids paraded in circles around me. {Yes, I realize Christmas is like three days away... they can be New Year's cards!}

So in lieu of an actual recipe, how about a little tutorial (more of a tip) on perfecting cut-out cookies. This weekend my sister-in-law, Jessica asked me how to get them not to spread while baking. It's so simple:

The secret is properly chilled dough. Chill small discs of cookie dough (wrapped in plastic) at least one hour before attempting to roll out. When you barely leave an indentation after poking it with your finger, you're 'ready to roll' {hilarious, I know}.

Lightly dust parchment-lined countertop with a 50/50 combo of a.p. flour & confectioner's sugar. Roll out disc, keeping plastic wrap between the dough and rolling pin, in one direction until evenly flattened to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes {guess who these ones are for!}, and transfer to a parchment or silicone-lined cookie sheet.

Now FREEZE the cutouts while your oven is preheating, about 30 minutes. They will hold their shape perfectly during baking. Room temperature dough (because of the butter) will just melt when it hits the heat. Cold dough won't have time to soften. Bake until edges barely begin to turn golden. Cool on a wire rack before embellishing.



Tegan and Tage said...

I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one finishing Christmas cards. Our problem getting them out? Our mail hadn't been delivered in nearly a week so I didn't have our pictures in hand! That's what I'll be doing tonight...

Tegan and Tage said...

FYI... my onesie cookies did not turn out as planned last night... I had to re-read this post as a reminder of your super great tip! :)