There's no better gift than a homemade one, and with cookie swaps on the horizon, tis the season to rev yourself up for holiday baking. Cookies should be an enjoyable project, not cause for tearing your hair out. Here then, fresh from my own recent experiences, are five tips to keep you sane:
1. Roll out Your Dough Between Sheets of Wax Paper, Not Parchment
Wax paper peels easily off the top of the dough; then cut out the cookies and they'll peel right off the bottom sheet. Not true with parchment paper; no matter how cold the dough is, it clings.
2. Chill, Baby, Chill
The secret to neat and tidy edges? Chill the dough before and after you cut out shapes, and whenever it gets soft. Just pop the dough, supported on a baking sheet, into the freezer for 10 minutes to firm it up.
Related: Best Holiday Cookie Recipes
3. Metal Cup Measures Do Double Duty
When pressing dough into a pan for bars, use the smooth bottom of metal cup measures to pack it into an even layer.
4. The Foolproof Tool For Rolling Dough Evenly
Rolling pin guide rings! Just slide them onto your rolling pin, and you can't help but make the dough even (pictured above).
5. Add Salt and Leavening to Butter and Sugar Mixture
If you really want your salt and leavening well distributed throughout the dough, beat it in with the butter and sugar.
More from Gourmet:
Perfect Holiday Pies
Favorite December Recipes
15 Great Holiday Party Dishes
Our Favorite Pumpkin Recipes
Anyone can make brownies. What new JELL-O Holiday Recipe would you surprise everyone with?