Cookie Baking 101

Here are some tips for successful holiday baking:

  • Use heavy baking sheets that distribute heat evenly, creating uniformly baked cookies.
  • To keep cookies from spreading, chill the dough before baking.
  • Cookies become overdone quickly and will continue to cook for several minutes after being removed from the oven. Avoid baking them untilthey’re fully brown. Look for golden brown edges instead.
  • To avoid breaks or tears, leave cookies on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes after they’re out of the oven, and then remove them to a cooling rack.
  • If you’re chopping nuts in a food processor, use a portion of the sugar or flour specified in the recipe. It will keep the nuts from sticking together from their oils.
  • Raisins and other dried fruits are better if plumped before they are added to a dough or batter.
  • Pour boiling water over the dried fruit and soak for 30 minutes. Then drain and blot well on paper towels.
  • Portion cookie dough into cookie-sized scoops (cut out rolled cookies) and freeze them, in a single layer, in resealable plastic bags. Write the oven temperature and bake time onto each plastic bag. You’ll have fresh-baked cookies in no time – and you can bake them straight from the freezer. Add a few minutes to the baking time for frozen dough.
  • To keep baking times consistent, be sure that all cookies are about the same size.
  • Visit for lots of holiday recipes and tips.


Check out links to some of my favorite Christmas cookies:

Chocolate Crackles

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