25 Tips for Baking Cookies
At Christmas, everyone has their own traditions. One of my favorite ones is baking cookies. I look forward to it well in advance and think about all the Christmas cookies I could bake. Baking cookies also gets you right into the Christmas spirit.
For others, it may be stressful as it is considered a must and can be frustrating… But with my tips, you can look forward to delicious cookies.
And the most important tip right at the beginning: Have fun while baking. Bake together with family and friends or put on some Christmas music.
Tips for ideal cookie preparation
One important tip is to plan ahead. I think ahead about who all I want to bake cookies for and how many bags I want to straighten and give away. That’s a good guideline for how many cookies I need each time. Of course, I also include some for us.
Don’t plan too many different cookies at once. Otherwise it will quickly become too much. Instead, make more of one kind.
Use the best cookie scoop you can to save yourself from messy preparation.
When I know how many cookies I want to make, I write myself a list with all the ingredients so I don’t forget anything when I go shopping.
Recipes should be read very carefully. If one says that the dough should rest overnight, you should plan for that.
If you want to bake cookies, take the necessary time. If you get stressed, you will quickly make mistakes.
Before you start baking, make sure you have all the materials you need: cookie cutter, rolling pin, baking paper, pastry brush, scales, etc.
Simply prepare the dough
With cookies, it’s important to pay close attention to the quantities. In addition, you should not necessarily replace ingredients with others if you do not know exactly how this will affect the dough. Of course you can leave out a spice if you can’t get it in the normal trade, but you should then also be aware that it is possible that the cookies will not taste as you wanted.
The ingredients should all be about the same temperature. The easiest way to do this is at room temperature. Simply put the ingredients out an hour before processing (unless cold butter is needed). If the ingredients are all at the same temperature, they will mix together easier and combine better.
If you sift the flour beforehand, the dough will be finer later and there will be less chance of lumps forming.
Doughs should be prepared at the right time, i.e. kneaded doughs are best prepared a day before and then left to rest overnight. Mixed doughs (e.g. for shortbread) should be prepared on the actual baking day, otherwise they will become too firm.
Roll out and cut the dough
Sprinkle the countertop with flour to make it easier to get the cookies off after cutting. However, do not use too much flour, otherwise this will make the dough too dry. When rolling out, you can also lift the dough and flour the countertop again. Likewise, the rolling pin can be floured so that no dough sticks to it.
If the dough still becomes too dry, it can be sprinkled with a little cold water to soften it again.
However, if the dough becomes too soft and sticky, it can be placed in the refrigerator again so that the butter becomes firmer again. Then the dough will also become firmer again.
If you prefer not to use flour when rolling out the dough, you can roll it out between two sheets of baking paper. This works wonderfully.
The dough should always be rolled out evenly so that the cookies are the same thickness and they are ready in the same time during baking. It is also best to place only cookies of the same size on a tray, so that one part is not already dark and the others still light.
Dip the cookie cutters in flour before cutting out the dough, so that the dough does not stick to the cutters.
If you have fancy shapes you can roll out the dough directly on the baking paper and cut it out there. This way, the shapes don’t have to be moved and can be baked directly on the baking paper.
Tips for baking cookies
The times given in the recipes are suggestions and guidelines. Every oven bakes a little differently, you should rely on your experience with your own oven for this. I always check the appearance on the first tray and pay close attention to how the cookies turn out. This is then a good guide for the other cookie trays. The subsequent trays usually require a slightly shorter baking time as the oven heats up more and more.
Some ovens heat differently. It can happen that the rear part of the baking tray is already dark and the front area is still light. It helps here if you simply turn the tray over in between.
Remove the cookies from the baking tray immediately after baking and place them on a cooling rack, for example. Otherwise, the cookies will absorb moisture and become too soft.
Once the cookies are done baking, it’s time to decorate them. Here there are also some points that you should pay attention to, so that everything looks beautiful afterwards.
With the glazes one differentiates between one from powdered sugar and one from normal sugar. A powdered sugar glaze can be used if it is to be absorbed into the pastry and should be applied to the cookies while they are still warm. The icing, on the other hand, is used for decorating and should be applied to the cooled cookies.
If you don’t have piping bags (or too few) you can use freezer bags instead. Fill the bag and cut a corner small with scissors.
If you are making Christmas cookies with Christmas spices you should let them sit for a few days before eating them. This way you can taste the spices better.
If the cookies are hard and should become soft, leave them open for a day or two so that the cookies can absorb moisture from the air.
Packing and storing cookies
Allow the cookies to cool before wrapping them. If you’re still looking for cookie packaging ideas, here are a few suggestions I’ve collected for you: Cookie wrapping ideas
If your cookies have a glaze or filling, you can place baking paper between the layered cookies. This way they won’t stick to the bottom of the cookie above and will still look nice afterwards.
The cookies should always be stored in a cool, dry place.
Have you already baked cookies? Do you know any other tips?