Christmas Cookie Tips
Get the holidays off to a great start by baking a batch of Christmas cookies. Need a quick refresher course before you begin? Check out our Cookie Basics video, and be sure to keep these additional tips in mind:
- Check dates on all packaging to ensure that ingredients are fresh. Remember that baking powder can lose its leavening power over time, and nuts and oils can become rancid if kept for too long.
- Save money by planning ahead and purchasing ingredients in bulk or on sale. Also, check your newspaper for manufacturers’ coupons to get even more savings!
- Unlike cooking, baking is an exact science. Unless the recipe calls for an ingredient to be packed (i.e. brown sugar), scoop flour, granulated sugar, leavening agents and spices into measuring tools and level off with a straight edge to get precise amounts.
- Small ice cream scoops are great tools to have on hand. Use them for scooping out dough to ensure uniform cookie size and even baking results.
- If a recipe calls for a sticky substance, such as peanut butter or molasses, lightly spray the inside of the measuring cup with cooking spray before filling. It will help the ingredient slide easily from the cup.
- Cooling racks are a must. Place racks on counters with good air circulation so that moisture does not build up underneath the cookies and make them soggy.
Baking dozens of cookies can be daunting, so why not consider Hosting a Cookie Exchange? It’s always nice to get together with friends, especially when everyone leaves with an assortment of cookies! Check out these Holiday Cookie recipes for some delicious ideas to share.
Short on time this holiday season? Consider baking bars or brownies instead of individual cookies. They require less monitoring than cookies, but they’re equally delicious. Simply prepare the batter, pour into the pan and bake. Once the finished product cools, add some additional interest by cutting into tiny, delicate squares or diamond shapes. Here are some of our favorite bar recipes: Chocolate Chunk-Magic Cookie Bars, Holiday Cheesecake Presents, Holiday BAKER’S ONE BOWL Brownies, Caramel-Pecan Brownies, Easy Jam-Filled Cookies, Creamy Lemon Squares and Chocolate-Pecan Pie Bars.
Special delivery! Cookies can be a great gift at the holidays, even for those friends and family members who live far away. Follow these Guidelines for Storing, Packing and Mailing Cookies if someone can’t make it home for the holidays.
Who says Christmas cookies have to be baked? Here are some creative no-bake options that even the littlest of hands can help make: Buckeye Bars, Cookies 'n Cream Crispy Treats, Crispy Chocolate Clusters and No-Bake Holly Cookies.
If you are better at measuring than you are at baking, consider creating a cookie mix for a holiday gift. Super-Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Mix and Super-Chunk Mocha Cookie Mix are two ideas to get you started.
Get the kids involved! Have your little helpers decorate Gingerbread People; dip Almond Crescents in chocolate; drizzle melted BAKER’S White Chocolate over Chocolate-Candy Cane Cookies; make thumbprints in Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprints; or sprinkle PHILADELPHIA Sugar Cookie Cutouts with colored red and green sugar.