I’m constantly looking for easier and more efficient ways to make my sugar cookies. When I find something that works I want to shout it from the rooftops! So here goes nothin’.
1. Good quality parchment paper
Not the thin junk. Good thick parchment paper. Trust me on this one! I tried buying a pre-cut variety off of Amazon and was very disappointed. I will keep trying to find an alternate, but for now I’m sticking with my tried and true Reynolds Parchment Paper.
I sandwich my dough between two layers of parchment when rolling out my dough. This helps with keeping your rolling pin clean, your dough from sticking, and prevents the need for using more flour and drying out your dough. Once you have your dough rolled out slide your “sandwhich” onto a cookie sheet. Layer your “sandwiches” and chill in the fridge. Once your dough is chilled peel off the top layer and use it to line a cookie sheet for your cut cookies. You can use the same sheets of parchment to bake the cookies. I even use them underneath my baked and cooled cookies when decorating.
2. Dowel Rods
Yep, you heard me right. Regular ole dowel rods. You know, the ones from the wood craft aisle of your favorite craft supply store, ahem Hobby Lobby. I personally prefer the 3/8″ thick dowel rods because I like a slightly thicker sugar cookie. How in the heck do I use dowel rods when making sugar cookies? Well my friends, brace yourself. I’m about to solve the age old problem of cookies with irregular thicknesses.
Simply lay out a piece of parchment cut to fit inside you cookie sheet. Then place your ball of dough roughly in the middle and form it into a log shape. Place a dowel wrapped in Glad Press’n Seal wrap (see #3 for further explanation) on each side of the “log” of dough. Create your “sandwich” by covering with another cut to size piece of parchment and roll out the dough using the dowel rods as a guide. See photo below. When you use the dowels the thickness will stay the thickness of the dowels. Genius right?!
3. Glad Press’n Seal
Please tell me you already have this miracle in your kitchen! If you don’t, you are seriously missing out. I love this stuff!!! It is great in cookie and royal icing making.
As mentioned above, I wrap my dowel rods with Press’n Seal because the dowel rods that I buy are just craft dowels are not made specifically for food use. To keep the dough from touching the dowels I wrap them! What makes this even better is I can use the same dowels over and over because they don’t get dirty. Just unwrap, toss the Press’n Seal, and re-wrap when you need them again. WINNING!
I also use the Press’n Seal on the bowls I use to mix up my royal icing. I lightly press the wrap onto the surface of the icing to prevent a crust from forming and then seal it around the lip of the bowl. I prefer to use plastic bowls to mix in and normal plastic wrap doesn’t stick. The Press’n Seal works like a charm. (No, this isn’t sponsored, even though it sounds like it. I just LOVE this stuff!)
4. Food writers or food coloring markers
These markers are great! They come in an assortment of colors and tips. I recommend starting out with a yellow and a black marker to start. The yellow is great for sketching your design straight onto your bare baked cookie. When writing on an iced cookie be sure your icing is completely dry otherwise you may break through your icing crust coat. The black is great for writing on your iced cookie especially when using dark colored icing as a background. The writers dry quickly and do not bleed into your icing.
5. Toothpicks, Doll needle, or Scriber Needle Tool
I started off using toothpicks so don’t think you need to run out and get anything else. With that said, when using either a doll needle (found at any fabric or craft store) or a scriber needle tool you can easily wipe the tip clean and wash after each use. I also use them to unclog my icing tips should they dry up.
PROS and CONS:
Toothpicks: Pro: inexpensive, disposable, and you probably already have them at home. Cons: Do not wipe completely clean, the more colors you use the more toothpicks you will use, can sometimes be a little hard to see when working on intricate designs.
Doll Needle: Pros: Wipes clean, can wash and reuse, sharp tip allows for intricate design work, long needle provides better cookie visibility. Cons: Hard to hold for long periods of time.
Scriber Tool: Pros: Same as the doll needle as it wipes clean, can wash and reuse, very sharp tip allows for intricate design work, long handle and needle provides the best cookie visibility, stronger needle tip than the doll tool, the handle makes it easier to hold with less hand fatigue. Cons: I haven’t found them at any of my local stores. I bought mine from Amazon.
I hope you found this post helpful. I’m always on the search for new tips and tricks and will post them here as I find them so be sure to subscribe. If you like live videos follow me on Facebook here. If you know of any great tips please share them in the comments below.