Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Home to the Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
By the U of A System Division of AgricultureNov. 27, 2019
(680 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
TEXARKANA, Ark. – Everyone wants to make those “as-seen-on-TV” perfectly beautiful
holiday cookies, but sometimes the dough has other ideas. All is not lost, says Carla
Due, Miller County Extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division
Due knows. She’s a big holiday cookie fan.
“One of my favorite Christmas traditions is making sugar cookies with my children,”
she said. “This is something that we have done since they were old enough to stand
up in a chair next to the kitchen counter. It is an annual tradition at our house.”
Due said making homemade cookies hasn’t always been perfect.
“In college, I used to get frustrated when dough would stick to my rolling pin, or
I would open the oven to find one large cookie,” she said. “Cookie problems can happen
to all of us, we just need to learn from those mistakes and find the solutions for
those cookie dilemmas.”
Sticky dough – Sometimes the dough sticks to the rolling pin. Due suggests using
a pastry cloth and stockinette-covered rolling pin to help keep the dough from sticking.
Rubbing flour onto the rolling pin cover and pastry cloth adds to ease of handling.
Refrigerating dough for about an hour will also make the dough easier to handle, especially
if the dough is soft.
Cracking dough – Sometimes the dough cracks when rolling it out. In this case, it is likely that
the dough is too cold. Remedy this by covering the dough and let sit at room temperature
to warm slightly.
One (unintentionally) big cookie – Uh oh. You open the oven to find one large cookie instead of a dozen. Now what? “You
decorate it as a large ornament,” Due said. “Cookies may spread for a variety of reasons.
Before baking an entire batch, bake a test cookie to give a good indication of dough
condition.” If it spreads too much, the dough may be too soft. Try chilling the dough.
If the dough is still too soft, stir in one to two tablespoons of flour. Also, do
not over soften the butter or margarine before making the dough.
Burned cookies – Maybe your cookies went from chewy to burnt in a matter of minutes. Due said the
baking sheet may be the villain. “Select a thin, light cookie sheet. The darker the
pan, the more heat will be absorbed and therefore more heat will radiate off the surface.
Keep a close eye on them and bake on the middle rack.”
Broken cookies – “Cookies that break when removed from baking sheets can break your heart,” she said.
If cookies are still hot from the oven, let them cool on the pans for a few minutes
before transferring to wire racks. Once cooled per the recipe, they will remove easily
and in one piece.
How the cookies crumble – Crumbling cookies are hard and dry. Due said there are several possible root causes.
The dough could’ve been overmixed, over-baked, the dough was overly wet, or there
wasn’t enough fat. Excessive salt can also cause your cookies to be hard, she said.
Stop mixing as soon as the ingredients come together. More stirring doesn’t make it
better. When adding salt to the recipe, measure salt using measuring spoons. Level
off the top.
Due shares her favorite holiday sugar cookie recipe below:
Holiday Sugar Cookies
One and one half cups powdered sugar1 cup butter or margarine, softened1-teaspoon vanilla1/2 teaspoon almond extract1 egg2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*1-teaspoon baking soda1-teaspoon cream of tartar
Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover
with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least three hours.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into halves. Roll each half three-sixteenths
of an inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes with cookie
cutters. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake until edges are light brown,
about seven to eight minutes. Remove from cookie sheets to a cooling rack. Frost and
decorate when cooled.
*If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda and cream of tartar.
For more information on managing stress contact your local Cooperative Extension Service
agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com