This Year, Make Holiday Cookie Baking a Breeze

December 12, 2012 | By Rebecca Gordon | Comments (0)

shortbread l This Year, Make Holiday Cookie Baking a BreezeMy motto around the holidays? “A homebaked cookie a day keeps the holiday madness at bay.” Plan to mark holiday cookie baking off your “To Do” list, and host your own sweet swap. Pick out your favorite holiday treats from our arsenal of easy-to-make recipes (here and here), and use these tips for flawless gift giving. The best part of all? No gift receipts required.

  • Wrap similar treats together so spice cookies don’t pick up notes of peanut butter and chocolate, and vice versa.


chocolate pecan candy l This Year, Make Holiday Cookie Baking a Breeze


  • If you like the look of cleaner edges, use a chef’s knife to cut bar cookies and wipe the blade clean between cuts. A bench scraper also works great because you can simply press straight down and cut.
  • Most drop cookie dough, such as chocolate chip cookie dough, can be covered in the refrigerator up to one week ahead. You can bake small batches whenever you want for that fresh-from-the-oven taste.


toffee l This Year, Make Holiday Cookie Baking a Breeze


  • When a recipe calls for nuts, feel free to experiment and substitute your favorites to change up a recipe.
  • If making slice and bake cookie logs, you can make and freeze the dough for up to two months ahead and bake whenever you want to.
  • If a recipe calls to flatten dough balls before baking, do it like grandma would have done and use the bottom of a drinking glass.


classic sugar cookies l This Year, Make Holiday Cookie Baking a Breeze


  • Omit the leavening or choose recipes without it when making sugar cookie cut-outs so the cookies keep their shape during baking.
  • Spray your tablespoon measure with cooking spray for easy release onto baking sheets and to portion dough easily.


thumbprint cookies l This Year, Make Holiday Cookie Baking a Breeze


  • Oh, and be sure the zip-top plastic bag you use to pipe preserves into thumbprint cookies is a freezer bag and not a regular storage bag or you may experience a blowout. Ask me how I know.

Tis the season, y’all.