Sunday, December 2, 2012

Time to Make the Cookies!

Cookie Techniques


Sliced or refrigerator-Dough can be formed in a mold or rolled in to a log then refrigerated.  Cookies are sliced off of a log after several hours of refrigeration then baked.

Candy-Usually a no bake cookie that adds variety of texture, color and flavor.  Candy can be made while other cookies are baking which makes them very time efficient.

Bar-This cookie is baked in a jellyroll pan lined with parchment and cut into a fingers, diamonds or other shape after being cooled or slightly frozen.  This is a great type of cookie to make for cookie exchanges.

Rolled Cut Outs-Dough is chilled then rolled to desired thickness and cut with cookie cutters.

Drop-Dough is dropped from a teaspoon, scooped or rolled into a 1 inch ball.

Pressed Cookies-Soft dough’s are extruded from a cookie press or piping bag; such as spritz.

  • Dough’s may be frozen in logs, balls or in containers until time to bake.
  • Baked Cookies should be frozen by cookie type in square or rectangular containers.  Wrap containers in plastic wrap then foil to maintain freshness.
  • Do not freeze cookies in package, boxes or tins that the cookies will be given in.
  • Smaller cookies reduce breakage.
  • Distribute heavier cookies on the bottom of container and more delicate cookies on the top.
  • Use muffin liners to separate varieties in tin or boxes.
  • Muffin Liners cushion cookies and help prevent breakage. Cookies in muffin liners can be stacked 4 high.
  • When using paper or cardboard boxes make sure they are wax lined or grease proof.
  • Place bar cookies in the bottom of a tissue lined box, cover with a layer of plastic wrap to help prevent cookies from drying out. (Note: use a deeper box than what is needed to fit all the cookies.  This will allow for room for any packing materials to pack around cookies to help protect them during shipping).
  • Cover cookies with un-buttered unsalted popcorn.
  • Place any delicate cookies on top of popcorn and cover with parchment or waxed paper.  Fold tissue over parchment, close and wrap box.  Place in larger shipping box.
  • Wrap small box in bubble wrap and surround with packing pellets, plastic grocery bags or crushed news paper to prevent the smaller box from being able to move during shipping.
Baking Tips:
  • Eggs and butter should be at room temperature unless otherwise noted.
  • Make dough’s on one day on bake on another day.
  • Always include varieties such as candy and no bake cookies that you can make while the other cookies are baking and cooling.
  • Have double or triple the amount of cookie sheets that fit in your oven so you can be baking and cooling at the same time.
  • Always use parchment paper or sil-pat mats.
  • Bake at 350 degrees unless otherwise noted.
  • Work with a partner or have the kids help.
  • Prepare a shopping list ahead of time and have all ingredients on hand on dough making day.
  • Use the garage set up with tables to cool cookies.
  • Cool cookies on baking sheets.
  • Double recipes.  Do not triple.
  • Use a recipe planning program such as Living Cookbook.
Decorating with Royal Icing
Decorating cookies can be as simple as using icing dots to make a gingerbread man’s face and buttons, or as challenging as flooding and flocking with bright royal icing and tinted sugar. Follow the techniques below for beautifully iced cookies.

Royal Icing
Use to make gingerbread houses icing cookies or cake decorations. Dries light weight and hard.

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
2 egg whites, lightly beaten 
  1.  Combine all ingredients in a electric mixer and beat until mixture is thick and holds it's shape.
  2.  Store covered with plastic wrap touching icing in a container with a tight fitting lid.
Author: Chef Jackie White
Source: PLC
Web Page:
  • Pastry bag with coupler
  • #2 tip for piping
  • #3 tip for flooding small cookies
  • #5 tip for flooding large cookies

  • Royal Icing can be made several days ahead of time and stored in pastry bags—at room temperature if made with meringue powder or in the refrigerator if made with egg whites.
  • The icing can be thickened or thinned by varying the amount of egg whites and sugar. A thinner icing (with more egg whites) is best for flooding, since it spreads more smoothly; a thicker icing (with more sugar) is best for piping.
  • If the colors start to separate, gently massage the bag to remix the icing.
  • To fill a pastry bag: Place the bag tip side down in a glass about 3 inches shorter than it; fold the top of the bag down over the edge of the glass to form a cuff. Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the icing into the bag, filing it to one-half to two-thirds full. Unfold cuff, and close bag with a twist tie.
  • To prevent the tip from clogging, either put a damp paper towel in the bottom of the drinking glass, or insert a toothpick in the tip, and remove it just before piping.

  • This process coats the entire surface of a cookie with royal icing.
  • Outline half a cookie with piping (thicker) icing, using a #2 tip. Rotate cookie 180 degrees, and outline the other half. Let the icing set, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • With the flooding (thinner) icing, using a #5 tip, draw zigzags over the cookie’s surface.
  • Using a small offset spatula, spread the flooding icing evenly within the piping outline. Let the cookie dry overnight at room temperature.
  • When the flooding is dry, use the #2 tip to pipe your chosen design.

Author: Chef Jackie White

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