i stumbled on an amazing cookie cutter sale not so long ago and have been dying to try them all ever since. so, i whipped up a batch of sugar cookie dough and began. the dough made much, much more than anticipated. and while i was at first overwhelmed, i ended up learning a lot in the process. before getting started on your batch, take a look at these tips and tricks. they’ll help you not only stay cool, calm, and collected, but also, ensure your cookies turn out just as you imagined.
1. separate the dough into multiple sections
once you’re done making your dough, make sure to separate it into multiple, workable sections. many recipes just say “wrap up in a ball and chill.” but trust me, you won’t be too happy when you have to roll out a huge block of dough. separating them will make it much easier to work with, specially when you are working on a small countertop.
2. pat them into an oval, not a ball
once you’ve separated your down, roll them into little balls and then pat them down to form a thick oval. why? well, basically the same reason as above. it will be much easier to roll out if you have a flat surface to work on from the start. plus, it’s also easier to store since you can pill them ontop of each other (not in the same bag, of course).
3. chill in the freezer
if you’re working on a tight schedule, then take this quick route instead. if you have time to do an overnight to chill, then opt for the fridge instead. placing them in the freezer for about 30 to 60 minutes will ensure that your dough, particularly the butter in your dough, cools down enough to keeps its shape in the oven.
4. keep the rest cool while working
remember how i told you to separate your dough? well if you did that, now you can keep your other sections chilled in the fridge or freezer while you roll out and shape one. and make sure to chill the sections of dough that didn’t make it into a cookie cutter. this way, you’ll be able to roll them out again and not waste any food.
5. roll them out thinly
the thicker the cookie, the more it’s going to spread in the oven (and kill your desired shape.) but be weary, if you roll them out too thin, they’ll be more of a cookie chip than a soft cookie. feel free to test out different thicknesses with a first batch and then move forward with the one you like the best.
1. opt for royal icing
i had to learn this the hard way, so do yourself a favor and just make royal icing instead of glace icing. royal icing is better because it can vary in thickness much more easily and stays whiter and brighter when it dries. making royal icing does call for egg whites, so use the egg whites that come in a box or eggs that have a “P” on them – they are both pasteurized and will eliminate any potential health risk.
2. make a lot
one cup of powdered sugar may look like a lot when it’s dry, but once it’s wet, not so much. if you’re going to decorate a lot of cookies or use a lot of different colors, then make a lot from the start. because once you begin decorating, you’re going to really hate yourself if you have to stop and make more. you’ll risk having your icing dry up and ruin your decorations.
3. prepare all the colors first
this goes along with the previous tip. before you begin decorating, make sure you have all your colors ready, your pipping bags at hand, and anything else you might need. p.s. check out how to fill a pipping bag with saran wrap – it will keep your icing wet and your pipping bags clean.
tell me, what tips & tricks have you learned while making sugar cookies?