Tips and Tricks Cut-Out Cookies
- Use room temperature butter.
Cookies won't hold their shape as well and are likely to turn out greasy when made with butter that's too soft.
Follow this tip: Let the butter stand at room temperature for about an hour, until it's soft and gives to gentle pressure. If you're really pressed for time, you can speed the process along by cutting the butter into small cubes, or even grating it.
- Just mixing it well.
Over-working the dough yields a tough cookie, which is not at all what you want. The very best sugar cookies are soft and tender.
Follow this tip: One of the keys to great sugar cookies is mixing the dry ingredients only until they're just incorporated, and not a second longer. Once the dry ingredients are added, less mixing equals more tender cookies.
- Always chill your dough.
Chilling the dough is a key step in making sugar cookies, especially when you're making cut-outs. Even if you're tight on time, make sure to get the dough in the fridge, or even the freezer, even if it's only for a little while. Skip this step, and the dough will be sticky, and much harder to work with.
Follow this tip: Chill sugar cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or in the freezer for 15 minutes. The dough will be so much easier to work with! It will roll out nicely, and if you're making cut-outs, chilled dough will help you get clean, sharp edges. Chilled dough also holds its shape better in the oven.
- Not too thick or too thin.
When you're making cut-out cookies, it can be tricky to roll the dough just right. Roll it too thin, and the dough will be really fragile and may easily tear or break. Roll it too thick, and you run the risk of the cookies not baking evenly or cooking all the way through.
Follow this tip: For super soft, tender sugar cookies, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick. The dough will be easy to work with, without breaking or tearing, and it will bake up nicely.
- Dust off your Awwsome Cookie Cutter in flour.
Be sure to dip your Awwsome cookie cutters in flour each time before pressing them into the dough to minimize sticking.
Follow this tip: Dip the cutter into a plate of flour and then tap the excess flour off of the cutter by tapping it on the counter. Cookie cutters with small nooks and crannies needs a little attentions, use a chopstick to gently push out the dough that is getting stuck in the small spaces. If you do make a mistake and a piece breaks off, gently press it back together and put a drop of water on your finger to smooth out the seam.
- Over-baking the cookies.
We often tell you to bake cookies until they're golden brown. This isn't the case with sugar cookies, though. Once the edges develop a golden hue, you've gone too far. While overcooked sugar cookies are certainly still palatable, they'll be hard and crunchy, instead of soft and chewy.
Follow this tip: Pull the cookie sheet from the oven as soon as they've set and gained some color, but not too much. They should also look slightly crackled across the center.