By Janet Taylor McCracken, Bon Appétit
Tis the season to bake (and eat) cookies. Check out our slideshow of 31 all-time holiday favorites--one for every day in December.
Before you dive into day one, the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen has some tips on baking, storing, and shipping cookies (because nothing says "it's the thought that counts" like delicious DIY gifts):
Balance Sheet: Most ovens have hot spots, which can result in uneven baking. To minimize this, reverse the baking sheets halfway through. Move the sheets from the top to the bottom oven rack, and turn the sheets from front to back.
Chill Out: Putting cookie dough on a hot baking sheet will cause the dough to spread. Be sure that the sheet is completely cool before you add the dough. Feeling impatient? Carefully place a hot baking sheet (using an oven mitt, of course) in an empty sink and run cool water over it.
Freeze Frame: All of the cookies here can be frozen for up to three weeks. You can thaw the cookies at room temperature, but we've also found that the sandwich cookies, peppermint crunch cookies, and caramel squares are delicious straight out of the freezer.
Ship Shape: Of these recipes, the caramel squares and the peppermint crunch cookies are the best candidates for shipping. To make sure they arrive fresh and unbroken, stack the cookies on top of one another between squares of waxed paper, wrap in cellophane bags, and tie with ribbon. Cushion the cookie stacks with bubble wrap, newspapers, or packing peanuts. And splurge on express shipping.
Photo: Hans Gissinger
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