Tips for Baking Perfect Thanksgiving Cookies
The holiday season is finally here, and home bakers across the country are gleefully beginning to prepare cookies, cakes, pies, and other confectionery treats. Budding bakers are best off sticking to simple treats like sugar cookies, rather than elaborate cakes, but that doesn't mean they can't still make a splash at a family dinner or company potluck. Read on to find out how to bake perfect Thanksgiving cookies that will be sure to wow everyone at the dinner or party.
Celebrate the Season
Why stick to the same boring recipes for chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies that people eat throughout the year? Thanksgiving is a special occasion, and it deserves cookies that speak to the season. Home bakers can purchase Ann Clark Cookie Cutters shaped like pumpkins, acorns, and even turkeys, then decorate them using colorful frosting and icing to bring every batch to life.
Chill Dough at the Right Time
Most holiday cookies need to be rolled out and cut before they can be baked. Getting this part of the process right is the key to winding up with beautiful, crack-free, and perfectly shaped cookies, so don't buy the hype about chilling the dough before rolling it out. It's better to roll out the dough while it's still soft and pliable, then put it in the fridge or freezer before cutting it.
Use Powdered Sugar to Roll Out Cookies
Most traditional bakers recommend coating rolling pins, countertops, and hands, alike with flour before rolling out gingerbread, sugar cookies, and other roll-outs. Instead of using this approach, try swapping out the flour for powdered sugar instead. It will still prevent the dough from sticking but will add extra sweetness instead of negatively impacting the cookies' taste.
Cool Baking Sheets Between Batches
Putting cookie dough on a hot baking sheet can cause the cookies to spread out too much because it causes the butter to melt before the batch hits the oven. Bringing the baking sheets' temperature back down by cooling them with water between batches for a minute or two can prevent this problem and keep the edges of cut-out cookies looking crisp and clean.
Keep Cookies Moist and Tender
To make sure every batch of cookies comes out moist, tender, and delicious, it's usually best to take the baking sheets out of the oven about a minute before the timer goes off. Most recipes don't take into account the fact that the cookies will continue to bake on the baking sheets for a minute or two while they cool down.
Mix Icing in Advance
Most bakers like using royal icing to give their cookies some extra visual appeal. Buy colored gel and mix up the icing in appropriately sized batches before starting the decorating process. It will make decorating the cookies easier and more fun and reduce the amount of mess leftover to clean when the whole process is done.
Baking holiday cookies can be fun and rewarding, so don't treat it like a chore and put it off until the last possible minute. The best way to wind up with cookies that look and taste amazing is to start planning early and make at least one test batch of each type of treat.