Tips for Baking the Perfect Cookies for the Holidays


Tips for Baking the Perfect Cookies for the Holidays

Tips for Baking the Perfect Cookies for the Holidays

Our Test Kitchen sure does bake a lot of cookies, and over the years we've collected quite a few favorite tips and tricks. If you've ever wondered how to bake soft sugar cookies, or how to tell when your cookies are done, then these tips will surely help you out. These general tips apply to making and baking all types of cookies, so read along and get bakin' today to put them into practice!

Cookie Baking Tips:

  1. Always read a recipe completely before beginning, to be sure you understand the whole procedure. This will eliminate any surprises.Doubly Chocolate Cookies
  2. Gather all ingredients before beginning. Nobody wants to have to run to the store halfway through a recipe.
  3. Unless specifically stated otherwise, ingredients are best when used at room temperature. This is true except in very hot kitchens.
  4. The number of eggs called for in most recipes is based on U.S. graded large or extra-large eggs.
  5. You can use butter or stick-type margarine unless otherwise instructed. Butter adds more flavor. If oversoftened, set it aside for other kitchen uses and use fresh for baking.

Doubly Chocolate Cookies

  1. Mix dough evenly, making sure ingredients are combined uniformly. This is true except in recipes that state otherwise, such as marbleized items.
  2. Overmixing can cause cookie dough to harden, so do not overmix!
  3. To prevent the motor on your portable hand mixer from burning out, pay attention to how hard it is working. Cookie doughs tend to be stiff. You can almost always stir in your final dry ingredients by hand if necessary.
  4. For best results, grease pans as directed in each recipe. This will ensure easy removal of cookies.
  5. Always preheat the oven. Putting an item into a cold oven will alter the baking time and the consistency of the finished product.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

  1. To allow for the most even heat circulation, it is best to bake cookies and bars in the center oven rack position. Also, do not overcrowd the oven. It will cause uneven baking, resulting in underbaked or burned cookies.
  2. If baking two or more trays at the same time, it’s best to place both pans into the oven at the same time, and switch the pans once during baking.
  3. Never place raw cookie dough on a hot cookie sheet. If using the same cookie sheets for several batches, always allow them to cool between uses.
  4. Always check cookies after the minimum suggested cooking time. Remember, cookies continue to bake after they’re removed from the oven, so be careful not to overbake. A good rule of thumb is: Crispy, thin cookies are done if they’re firm to the touch and golden around the edges. Thick or moist cookies are done Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookieswhen you can press them lightly with your finger and leave no imprint. Brownies and bars are done when they pull away slightly from the sides of the pan, or when firm to the touch with a little bounce (but not loose) when lightly pressed in the center.
  5. Use a timer to help keep track of cooking time. It’s easy to get distracted – and, if you do, your cookies can be overdone before you know it.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

  1. Always use pot holders or oven mitts when handling hot pans.
  2. Place hot baking pans on a cooling rack to allow air to circulate completely around pans. This also helps prevent damage to countertops.
  3. If cooled cookies stick to a cookie sheet, return the pan to a warm oven for about 1 minute, then immediately remove the cookies with a spatula.
  4. Test your oven temperature regularly with an oven thermometer to ensure proper calibration. Oven thermometers are usually available in supermarket housewares sections, and also in most kitchen stores.
  5. Clean up as you go along so that your time in the kitchen can be enjoyable and kept to a minimum!

Contest Rules:
  • There is a maximum of one extra entry per person. The extra entry will be based upon a comment left on this post. Duplicate comments are not tallied.
  • The winner will be selected at random from the comments on this page and the entries on the contest page.
  • The winner will be contacted on the morning of December 24th, 2018.
  • Email Address provided in their account (please do NOT leave your email address in the comments--you already provided it when you created your account)
  • You have until December 23rd, 2018 at 11:59pm EST to leave your comment on this post. Comments posted after that will not be counted.
  • Contest open to anyone 18+ in US and/or Canada. Excludes Quebec and Puerto Rico.

What tips do you have for holiday baking?

Leave a Comment


Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Know your oven for every oven heats up differently according to your sea level.

Always take cookiesout of the oven earlier to make them more chewy. Yum

Pay close attention to how the recipe says to store cookies. Some cookies are best stored with paper between the layers and all do better if cooled to room temperature first.

Dont try to multitask when baking

I always try to read the complete recipe before I start it. It eliminates a lot of problems.

To make sure you have plenty of time to do your holiday baking and let the little ones help.

The smell of homemade cookies is always so inviting.

the treats you remember from childhood are always the best.there are stories to go with them, and it is important to pass these memories and traditions on to future generations.

Start early, don't rush and use the best ingredients you can afford!

Enjoy what you make. And if you can have a friend to bake with, that's a bonus.

line baking sheets with parchment paper to make clean up easier and cookies slide right off.

TO wash the little ones hands and let them join in. They grow up way to quick to not enjoy the time with them and let them help. 3

To make sure you have all of the ingredients for that recipe before you start mixing it up.

For baking holiday cookies I like to be in a good mood and have plenty of time to decorate--don't want to be rushed.

Don't disregard people's dietary restrictions entirely, they still deserve some tasty treats within limits. It may take a little longer, but is well worth it when you see the happy faces of the people who DON'T get sick from over-indulging.

I try to start early and use the best possible ingredients. We may be tempted to add a pinch here and there, but for best results I follow recipes as closely as possible.

Oh man this article is turning me into the cookie monster right now lol.

These look super yummy! The best advice I can give is to scale back your baking if it is causing you stress. Remember that it is supposed to be fun not just another chore! If there are less treats but you are happier then the whole family wins!

I like to whisk the flour and other dry ingredients together before adding to the wet ingredients.

great tips for even better tasting cookies.. awesome !

I always use parchment paper sheets and to keep them from curing up I add a little water to the cookie sheet which then holds the parchment in place while I space the dough out properly spaced for the cookies. I remember one time my kitchen aid mixer 'walked' and unplugged itself off the counter with some pretty stiff dough! We all got a laugh out of that!

To make whatever you can ahead of time before the holidays

They look yummy!!!!

Rotate your cookie sheets half way through the cooking time to get around the "hot spots."

Have a fun time doing it. Carla from Utah

Plan ahead, make sure you have time, then enjoy baking-no matter what time of year.

Just do it and personalize the packages for gifts.

I like to be organized and have everything on hand before I even start.

I like to chill my dough overnight for easier rolling,

I like to mix up a few batches of cookies at one time, I chill the dough and bake the next day.


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Close Window