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Many families have a family tradition of baking cookies at this time of year. My children
and I have carried on this tradition since they were old enough to stand up in a chair.
I used to get frustrated when they didn't turn out right, until I figured out the
tricks the pros use.
If you are making cookies that need to be rolled out, it can be frustrating when the
dough sticks to your rolling pin. This is easily solved by lightly dusting the surface
and rolling pin to prevent sticking. You may need to repeat dusting with flour occasionally.
If dough is too soft, refrigerate for about one hour.
If your cookies spread and become flat after baked, try refrigerating the dough until
well chilled (1 to 2 hours). If the dough is too soft, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons
Never grease your cookie sheet unless the recipe tells you to do so. Greasing a cookie
sheet when the recipe does not call for it can cause the cookies to spread too much
and brown too quickly around the edges. Most cookie recipes have enough fat in them
to keep them from sticking.
Quality ingredients are important. You can’t produce quality cookies, if you are not
using top quality ingredients. Don’t skimp and use a low fat spread in place of butter
or margarine in baking recipes. This will produce very soft cookie dough.
If you want cookies that will be evenly browned, use a baking stone, or a shiny, aluminum
cookie sheet at least two inches narrower and shorter than the oven. The sheet may
be open on one, two or three sides.
If you choose to use a dark colored cookie sheet, watch it carefully. These may cause
your cookies to brown quicker.
For best results in a conventional oven, place one cookie sheet in the oven at a time
in the middle of the center rack of the oven. If cookies are baked on the bottom rack
of the oven they may burn or not bake evenly. Leave about 2 inches of space around
the cookie sheet to allow for good air circulation.
After you have followed all the guidelines to make perfect holiday cookies, you may
want to freeze some for later use. Both frosted and unfrosted cookies may be frozen
for up to 2 months. Although it is best to freeze them unfrosted, sometimes frozen
frosted cookies become moist under the frosting.
Arrange cookies in a container lined with plastic food wrap or aluminum foil. For
best results, wrap cookies individually in plastic wrap and separate with layers of
aluminum foil or plastic food wrap.
Store in an airtight container, with label and date. Be sure to thaw cookies, by letting
them stand loosely covered on a serving plate for about 20 minutes before frosting
For answers to your baking questions, contact me at the University of Arkansas, Division
of Agriculture, Miller County, 400 Laurel, Suite 215, Texarkana, call 870-779-3609
or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to follow me at www.facebook.com/MillerCountyFCS
or Twitter @MillerCountyFCS
I love this cookie recipe. You will get tender, buttery cookies that friends and neighbors
will ask for each year.
By Carla Due M.S.