Wondering how to get pIufectly shaped cookies - EVERY TIME? It isn't as hard as you think! Time consuming? Maybe. But not hard.
Speaking of hard... NO break your teeth hard cookies allowed!
What? Did you think I was going to write a dirty joke? It's quite possible, so stay tuned.
First, you'll need your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Follow the intructions for your recipe and prepare your dough. I've gone through several recipes and finally have perfected a favorite after trials and errors, and more trials and more errors! Why is my recipe perfect now? Its a combination of the method and a secret ingredient. If you ask nicely, I may just share. ;)
Okay, okay I'll share ....its an extra egg YOLK, and if the recipe calls for baking powder - leave it out! This makes cookies spread.
A few tips your recipe may not mention: do not overbeat or overmix your eggs. Just blend dry ingredients with wet just until mixed and it start to stick to the paddle of your mixer. Use your paddle attachment, not your whipping attachment.
Now, once your dough is sticking to the paddle remove from mixing bowl and separate into a couple/few large balls of dough.
Rather than using parchment paper like most recipe instructions may call for, I use smaller delicatessen sheets. Why you ask? You'll see!
Place 2 sheets of delicatessen paper down on your counter slightly overlapping on one edge. Place one dough ball onto papers. Like the picture above.
Geesh, I REALLY need a manicure! Please don't mind my doughy fingers either....
Anyway, now place 2 more sheets of delicatessen papers, slightly overlapping onto the dough ball and flatten a bit with your hand, then roll dough out into a flattened disk.
I use the small sheets because they help create the perfect size disks that fit nicely onto a standard sized cookie 🍪 sheet.
See, I told you that yowould see why I use the smaller sheets,they fit perfectly, don't they?
You will want to roll each disk out to about an 1/8 of an inch thick. This can vary and be a bit thicker if you'd like, just be careful not to make too tick or your cookies won't firm up enough for decorating. And don't make any thinner than the 1/8 inch because they'll be too thin, hard and brittle. Ewww! We DON'T want that. Remember - no hard cookies allowed!
Now, repeat this step for each dough ball and stack each disk right on top of each other onto a cookie sheet. Place the dough on the sheet into the refrigerator to chill while you go watch Netflix for at least an hour. And up to two days if covered. Not Netflix. Don't watch Netflix for two days straight. Or do. But if you do, don't blame it on me!
This step of chilling is important to keep the cookies in a nice shape while cutting.
Find your selected cookie cutter and start cuttin'! Try and place them close together to get the most out of each disk.
Set the dough scraps aside onto new sheets of paper.
Place each cut cookie onto another cookie sheet lined with either the delicatessen sheets or parchment. Cookies should leave about a half inch between each one.
When your sheet is full, place back into the fridge to chill again for at least 15 minutes to an hour.
This time, maybe go do your favorite workout to prepare for all the cookie eating later?
The dough scraps? Re roll, chill and cut more cookies!
This step is VERY important to prevent your cookies from spreading during the baking process! You definitely don't want your cookies to spread and loose their shape during baking. Unless of course you're going for the Dali inspired look.
Once you and your cookies have "chilled" place into a pre heated 375° oven for 8-15 minutes. Baking time will depend on the type of cookie sheet used, thickness of cookie and oven settings.
Your cookies are done baking when they've turned a beautiful golden brown and are slightly firm at touch. You dont want them super soft like your making chocolate chip cookies. They need to be firm and crunchy on the outside for decorating, but slightly soft in the center so They don't break your teeth!
Lastly, make your favorite royal icing recipe for decorating and decorate your beauties!