Do you want to make the perfect holiday cookies this year? Try these 19 best Christmas cookie-baking hacks to make your cookies irresistible this holiday season.
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There is nothing like watching holiday movies, drinking hot cocoa, and enjoying homemade Christmas cookies this time of year. It’s our must-do family Christmas tradition that we enjoy many times during the holiday season.
And since we try to do it so often throughout the month of December, I’m always finding new ways to perfect my Christmas cookie recipes and I thought I would share a few cookie hacks that I have learned over the years.
These cookie-baking tips will not only make your life easier by saving you time in the kitchen but will help you achieve the perfect Christmas cookie that you can gift or share this holiday season.
Before you dive into these cookie-baking hacks, make sure your pantry is stocked with all the ingredients you need to make the perfect Christmas cookies. Luckily, the best time to buy baking supplies is around the holidays so you get the best prices which is always helpful if you want to save money on your groceries.
Looking for more ways to save on your groceries?
- 6 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half
- 15 Supermarket Spending Traps to Avoid
- 4 Best Grocery Shopping Apps to Save Money
19 Best Christmas Cookie Baking Hacks
If you want to impress your family and friends this year with the most delicious Christmas cookies, then these Christmas cookie-baking hacks will have them requesting your tasty holiday treats year after year.
Make sure your butter isn’t too soft
This cookie-baking tip is probably one of the most important for making sure your Christmas cookies come out perfectly. No one wants their cookies to spread together into a cookie pizza. (or maybe they do-but not for Christmas cookies and not if you want to share with family and friends).
This is why you should always use butter that’s room temperature. However, if you are forgetful like me, then you can pop it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds (2 sticks) to will help soften it. Just make sure to watch the butter carefully so it doesn’t melt.
Soften your brown sugar
Are you ready to start baking but your brown sugar is as hard as a rock? You can make your brown sugar soft again by simply placing it in a bowl with a damp paper towel over the top and microwaving it for 20-30 seconds.
Just be aware that there is a very good chance it may harden up again so try to use it as soon as possible.
Room-temperature eggs work best
Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. You can do this by placing your eggs in a bowl of warm water to quickly bring their temperature up if you are short on time or forgot to take them out early.
Room-temperature eggs will blend better with your butter and sugar that has been creamed together. This will help make your batter more smooth and your cookies softer.
Use a spoon to measure the flour
Use a spoon to measure your flour instead of scooping out your flour with your measuring cup. Also, make sure to scrape off any excess flour to assure you have the correct measurement. This is especially important if you want your cookies to come out chewy and crisp instead of having a cake-like texture.
Avoid overmixing your cookie dough
When it comes time to add your dry ingredients to your batter make sure you are just mixing it until it’s combined. Try not to overmix your cookie dough as it could result in tougher cookies.
Chill your dough
Many recipes recommend you chill your cookie dough before baking as it will make sure your cookies don’t spread especially if the dough is sticky. While I don’t chill our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe because they are soft and cakey, I do like to chill our sugar cookies because they roll out much better making them easier to work with.
Make sure to read the cookie recipe carefully and chill your cookie dough if needed.
Place your cookie cutters in flour
When making sugar cookies, you may find that your cookie dough sometimes sticks to the cookie cutters despite flouring the surface and the dough. So, to avoid this simply dip your cookie cutters in flour before using them and your dough will not only come out of the cookie cutter more easily but will hold its shape better.
Use cake mix when making your cookies
There is no question that homemade cookies taste better than store bought, but we don’t always have time to make our favorite cookie recipe from scratch. This is when we turn to cake mix cookies.
You can have warm cookies from the oven with minimal effort by making cookies that use a cake mix as their main ingredient. Try these 20 Cake Mix Christmas cookie recipes to save time this holiday season.
Use your cookie dough for many recipes
One of the best ways to save time when making cookies during the holidays is to make one cookie recipe and use it for multiple cookies. We have a favorite sugar cookie recipe we use every year and I will usually double the batch and use it for our raspberry thumbprint cookies.
It saves me a ton of time from having to make a completely new batch of cookie dough. You can find both of these delicious cookie recipes in these 18 Family Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes.
Avoid tough sugar cookies
Sugar cookies are a must during the holiday season. But, did you know that they can get tough if you roll the dough too much before you bake them?
You can avoid tough sugar cookies by reducing how many times you have to keep rolling out your dough when using your cookie cutters.
Another thing to keep in mind before you even use your cookie cutters is to make sure to roll out your sugar cookies so they are the same thickness. This allows the cookies to cook more evenly helping you avoid thin, flat cookies that bake too quickly.
Freeze your cookie dough
Save yourself some time this year and start your cookie baking early. You can do this by making your favorite holiday cookie recipe, roll them into a ball and then place on your baking sheet.
Allow the cookie dough to freeze and then place the individual cookies into a freezer bag. When you are ready to bake your cookies, just take them out, and allow them to come to room temperature or you can add a minute or two to your baking time.
This is perfect for when you want to enjoy some warm cookies from the oven but don’t want to make a huge batch. Cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months before it should be used up.
Use parchment paper for easier clean-up
To make clean-up as easy as possible, use parchment paper or non-stick baking mats. Parchment paper will help stop your cookies from spreading too much and will allow them to bake more evenly.
Make sure cookies are placed far enough apart
When placing cookie dough on your baking sheet make sure they are at least 1-2 inches apart otherwise your cookies may spread together while baking.
Also, to ensure cookies bake more evenly, use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop (for larger cookies) so that all the cookies are the same size.
Make one batch of cookies at a time
If you want to make sure your cookies come out perfectly, try to only bake one batch of cookies in the center of your oven at a time.
My cookies always turn out better when I put one batch in the oven instead of two.
Let your cookies cool on a baking sheet
Try to let your cookies cool on your baking sheet for a couple of minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Try not to leave them on the baking sheet for too long or they will continue to keep cooking producing hard and crumbly cookies.
Avoid putting cookie dough on a hot baking sheet
Don’t put your cookie dough on a hot baking sheet because it will cause the cookie dough to spread out too quickly producing flat cookies. It’s better to allow your baking sheet to either cool for a few minutes between batches or use another baking sheet and alternate batches.
Make your own confectionary sugar for cookie frosting
Do you want to frost your cookies but you forgot to buy confectionary sugar? No problem, just put 1 cup of granulated sugar in your blender with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
Then, just add your confectionary sugar, (about 3 cups), 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla, and a few tablespoons of milk. If the frosting seems too stiff, I usually add a little more milk or if it’s too runny, I add some more confectionary sugar to get the right consistency. Color it with a few drops of food coloring and it’s ready for your cookies.
If you want to use piping instead of spreading the frosting on, you can use a sandwich bag. Simply add the frosting mixture to the bag and cut off one of the corners.
Another way to use granulated sugar to decorate your Christmas cookies is to add a drop or two of food coloring to your sugar and sprinkle it over your frosted cookies to make them even more festive.
Use bread to soften your cookies
Christmas cookies tend to get hard and crumbly if they are exposed to air for a long period of time especially if they are left on cookie plates. The best thing to do to keep them soft and fresh over the holidays is to store them in air-tight containers.
However, if they do happen to harden up all you have to do is place some bread in with the cookies to add some moisture. I like to break up the bread into pieces and place it in the container instead of putting a whole piece of bread because you may find that the cookie( or cookies) that the bread was on top of will be too soft and fall apart.
Freeze cookies for later
Just like you can freeze your cookie dough, you can also freeze cookies that have already been baked. Make sure you allow the cookies plenty of time to cool before placing them in the freezer.
To ensure that the cookies don’t stick together you can freeze them individually like you do when you freeze the cookie dough before placing them into a freezer bag. Cookies can last for about 3 months in the freezer.
Looking for more cookie recipes and holiday treats to try:
- Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
- Air Fryer Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 12 Best Air Fryer Cookie Recipes
- 45 Easy No-Bake Christmas Treats
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