Over the weekend was Christmas-cookie-making-weather, aka snowing! I made the dough on Sunday morning but then we went to Edaville Railroad so I waited until yesterday to finish them. I thought I’d pull together some tips and tricks I use for making delicious-tasting and cute-looking Christmas Cookies that can be used any time you’re making shaped and decorated sugar cookies.
For the dough, I love Martha’s recipe because if you follow her instructions to the T, you get really great, perfectly shaped cookies.
I also use a tip from Alton Brown: for rolling out the dough, use powdered sugar on your board and rolling pin in place of flour – what a great idea.
Roll the dough until about 1/8″ thick and cut out your shapes. You know how sometimes you bake your cookies and they get puffy and sort of melt out too much and the shape is distorted? To counter that, as Martha’s recipe states, when you’re ready to bake, stick the whole sheet of cookies back in the fridge for 10 minutes or longer until they’re very cold. Then cook at 325 for 15 minutes. This makes the shape of the cookie stay in tact while baking.
I decided to frost some of my cookies and use sprinkles on others. A quick tip for pre-baking-sprinkling is to brush a little milk on your cookie so the sprinkles have something to stick to and won’t immediately roll off your cookie and get everywhere.
The last tip I have to share is that Martha also recommends rotating location of your cookie sheets halfway through baking, this creates a perfectly browned cookie bottom and a cookie that is evenly baked.
For decorating I mentioned the pre-baking sprinkles above, but for frosted cookies I like to make a small amount of buttercream frosting with sprinkles on top, rather than the traditional royal icing. This makes for a tastier cookie in my opinion as royal icing hardens and makes the whole cookie a little crunchy.
Enjoy your holiday baking this season – it really is the most wonderful time of the year!!