One of the most favorite things to do during the holiday season is baking and eating Christmas cookies. Everyone loves Christmas cookies, but they can take some time to bake and decorate.
If it seems like your Christmas cookies get eaten faster than you can bake them, here are a few baking tips and shortcuts to make cookie baking and decorating easier.
Save Time Making Cookie Dough
Start by organizing which types of cookies you plan on baking and purchase all your ingredient the week before you plan on making them.
One thing you can do to save time is to make the cookie dough ahead of time and then freeze it until you are ready to bake your cookies. You can also make icing and freeze that as well.
If you don’t have time to make cookie dough, there are some great mixes you can buy to make gingerbread cookies, chocolate cookies and more.
Make Different Cookies With One Dough
Another way to save time is to use the same cookie dough to make different cookies. Then make a double batch of the dough.
Sugar cookie dough can be cut out into various holiday shapes with cookie cutters and then frosted with different flavors to look like you’ve baked many kinds of Christmas cookies.
You can color the sugar cookies with food coloring or sugar sprinkles. Or, try adding flavored chips to the dough. This will give your Christmas cookie trays more variety with less work.
Butter cookie dough can also be used to make more than one cookie such as differently flavored jam thumbprints or fancy swirled shaped cookies, using a cookie press.
Tips and Tools to Bake Cookies Faster
When it comes to baking, it’s helpful to use several baking sheets so that you can spoon cookie dough out onto one or two sheets while you’re baking the others. If you normally spoon out cookie dough by hand, you can save time by using a cookies dough scoop.
If a recipe calls for using a greased baking sheet, you can save a bit of time using a cooking spray, instead of greasing the pans by hand.
When the cookies come out of the oven, a two-tiered baking rack is handy for cooling cookies, so that they will not stick together when you put them on a tray.
Remember that most Christmas cookies can be baked and frozen in your freezer for several weeks, by storing them in air-tight plastic containers or freezer bags. Decorated cookies that you don’t want to crush can be stored in foil trays with parchment paper between each layer of cookies.