Whether you’re hosting your own party or baking up dozens as a guest, keep these tips in mind to ensure a sweet time is had by all.
For the Baker
1. Plan in advance: Most drop cookie dough, such as chocolate chip or gingersnap, can be made in advance, portioned, and then frozen—for up to 3 months. So you can be rolling in the dough whenever you need.
2. Check your spices: Most ground spices are only good for two or three years; now’s the time to replenish your collection (think cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves). Taste and smell your stash and replace old, dull spices that have lost their flavor.
3. Know how to measure: These cookies taste like….flour? Learn how to properly measure your dry ingredients so you don’t end up with hockey pucks.
4. Scoop up your dough: For uniform-size cookies, use a small ice cream scoop to measure out your dough.
5. Cool your sheets: In between batches, run the back of your baking sheet under cold water. Then, when you place your next batch of dough on the sheet, it won’t start cooking before hitting the oven.
6. Room temperature: For many cookie recipes, room temperature ingredients are essential for light, airy results. Start with room temperature butter and eggs.
7. Check your oven: Baking is an exact science, with measured-out ingredients and precise temperatures. Guarantee the best results by insuring your oven temperature is on target with an oven thermometer.
8. Switch it up: If you are baking two sheets of cookies at the same time, rotate the position of the pans (switch their placement) halfway through the cook time for evenly-baked results.
9. Chill, then cut: For nice clean-cut edges on your sugar cookies, roll out your dough and chill until firm before cutting out your snowflakes and