Kitchen Tip = Rolled and Dropped Cookie Tips

Some quick tips for perfect holiday cookies

Crisp or Rolled Cookies

Crisp or rolled cookies are made from a stiff dough which is rolled with a Rolling Pin and cut with sharp cookie cutters, a knife, or a pastry wheel. They should be thin and crisp.

It is usually best to work with a small amount of dough at a time. Chill the dough if it is too soft to handle easily. For rolled cookies, the dough should be chilled for 15 to 30 minutes before rolling. this will prevent the dough from sticking to the Rolling Pin. Roll out only one portion of the dough at a time to prevent dough from drying out. I like to keep the other portion is the refrigerator and chilled.

When using plastic Cookie Cutters, they should be dipped in warm vegetable oil while you are working. You will get a cleaner, more defined edge on the patterns.

For the most tender cookies, use as little flour as possible when rolling out the dough. Save all the dough trimmings and roll at one time (these cookies will be less tender). Sugar cookies will not get stiff or tough if you roll them in sugar instead of flour. TIP: Roll the chilled dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper or wax paper. Remove the top sheet. Make cookie cutouts, then lift with a wide spatula from paper to pan.

Crisp or rolled cookies should be stored in a container with a tight-fitting cover.

Cookie Decorating Tip:

To keep sparkling sugar on unfrosted rolled cookies, make a “paint” of egg white and water (1 egg white and 1/4 teaspoon water) and paint the UNBAKED cookie with this colorless paint. Then sprinkle the sugar right onto the cookie and the egg white paint causes the sugar to stick. Then bake the cookies according to your recipe.

Drop Cookies

Almost any cookie dough can be baked as a drop cookie if additional liquid is added to the batter. Use your kitchen scale:

1 ounce of cookie dough makes a nice large cookies

1/2 ounce of cookie dough is great for smaller cookies.

Drop cookie dough vary in texture. Some fall easily from the spoon and flatten into wafers in baking. Stiffer doughs need a push with a finger or the use of a second spoon to release them.

To make uniform soft drops, use a measuring teaspoon. When chilled, these doughs may be formed into balls and flattened between palms. First dust your hands with flour or powdered sugar. If the cookies are dark or chocolate, use cocoa for dusting.

#1 Cookie Question Asked – Why do my drop cookies spread and thin out while baking?

Easy Solution:  Bake a test cookie to get an indication of dough condition before baking an entire batch. If it spreads too much, one of the following could be the cause:

  • Dough was not properly chilled.
  • Pure cane sugar (sucrose) was not used; fructose sugar or a blend of sugars was substituted.
  • Baking pans were greased too much. Don’t grease the cookie sheet unless the recipe calls for it.
  • Dough was placed on warm baking sheets.
  • Used a low-fat margarine, diet spread, or vegetable-oil spread instead of butter or shortening. Never use a low-fat spread with 60% or less fat. Low-fat spreads have a higher moisture content and will make cookie dough very soft.
  • Butter makes cookies spread if the dough is too soft before baking.Not having the butter at the right consistency when making the dough. The dough should be soft enough to allow you to poke an indentation with your finger, but the indentation shouldn’t stay.If using 100% butter, start with CHILLED butter right from the refrigerator versus room temperature butter. Cut butter into 1-inch cubes and chill again before using in your recipe.

    Substitute shortening instead of butter, as butter melts faster than solid shortening. Even 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening will melt more slowly than using butter only.

  • Used the wrong type of flour. Flour can affect how cookies bake and behave. Flours with a high protein content (bread flour and all-purpose flour) produce cookies that tend to be flatter, darker, and more crisp than their counterparts made with cake or pastry flour. Unbleached all-purpose flour is recommended for the best spread on cookies. Bleached or chlorinated flours reduce spread.

Macaroon Cookies

Macaroons originated in an Italian Monastery around 1790. They were baked by the Carmelite nuns who followed the principle: “Almonds are good for girls who do not eat meat.”  During the Revolution, two nuns who hid in the town called Nancy, made and sold macaroons. They became known as the “Macaroon Sisters.”

Most macaroon and meringue cookies are fragile and need special handling. Keep them small and they will hold together better.

Some of the meringues, heavy in nuts, keep well if stored in a tightly covered container.

Macaroon Cookie Tip:

Using your fingers, form cookies into loose hay stacks. Moisten fingers with water to prevent sticking.

Should the macaroon cookies harden on the pan, return the cookie sheet to the warm oven for a minute before trying to remove them.

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