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COOKIE BAKING FOR BEGINNERS

Are you ready to learn how to make cut out cookies?  
Have you tried in the past but given up because you thought it
was too much work?   Let me show you some easy techniques
to help you get started as an expert cut out cookie baker.  Enjoy!

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Start by planning ahead.  Do you have everything you need? Remember that baking powder and flour get old.  If either of  yours have been in the cupboard for more than 6 months, get rid of it and buy new -- your cookies will appreciate it.  Measure carefully and remember that cookies aren't stew -- a pinch of this and a dash of that might ruin your cookies.

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Most recipes will tell you to cream your butter and sugar.  This is important as it keeps your cookies from being heavy and hard to bite into. You want to beat your butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.

 

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Some recipes say to sift your flour with your other dry ingredients and some don't.   Do whatever the recipe tells you.  If it doesn't say to sift, it's a good idea to mix the flour with the baking powder and salt or whatever before you add it to your butter mixture.

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I like to put the collar on my mixer before I add the dry ingredients so I don't have flour all over my kitchen.

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When your dough is mixed most recipes tell you to refrigerate it for 2 hours or overnight -- I have a better, easier and faster way.....

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Take a good handful of your freshly made dough and flop it onto a piece oof parchment paper.  I have my Dobord below my parchment paper, but we'll get to that in a minute.
To learn more about parchment paper,
CLICK HERE

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Cover your dough with another piece of parchment paper and start to roll it until you get it to the desired thickness.  The parchment paper won't stick to the dough and you won't have to add extra flour, hence no flour mess all over the kitchen.  Also, your last batch will be as good as your first

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I can get my dough perfectly level
by using my AccuRolling Pin. My dough is perfectly even every time!

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When you dough is rolled out transfer it and the parchment paper to a cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet into the refrigerator.  Continue rolling out the rest of the dough in the same way and lay each on top of your first batch on the cookie sheet in the refrigerator.  Now, clean up your kitchen and turn on the oven.  Within 15 minutes your dough will be well chilled and ready to cut!

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Remove the dough one parchment paper sheet at a time.  Cut into desired shapes and transfer to a parchment paper lined (you can use the same paper your rolled out on)
Wad up your scraps, reroll them and put them back into the refrigerator -- at the bottom of the pile.

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There are two important things to remember here.  One, let your oven warm up for at least 1/2 hour before baking your cookies.  Just because the oven says it's hot, doesn't mean the core of the oven is.  Second, bake similar cookies on each cookie sheet.  If you try to bake a large cookie and a small one at the same time they won't bake evenly.



Use a timer and also keep an eye on your cookies.  When sugar cookies just start to turn tan around the edges they are ready to come out.  Allow them to sit for 5 minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet.  This is where it's a great idea to have two or even three cookie sheets.  I have four.  One is in the refrigerator, one is in the oven, one is cooling and one is waiting to go in or being loaded.

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Transfer your cookies to a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool COMPLETELY.  You can then decorate them or freeze them to decorate later.

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Store your cookies is reseal able containers.  I like my Tupperware marinating pan because it holds LOTS of cookies.  If you do freeze your cookies, bring them up to room temperature before opening the container -- it will help keep moisture from forming on the cookies.

 

You're done! 
That wasn't so bad was it?  Don't forget the parchment paper, clean up is sooo much easier if you don't have to keep adding flour.  Heck, you don't even have to clean your rolling pin!

(Many thanks to my newsgroup for teaching me everything I know about cookie baking)

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Music Cookie Cutters
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Western Cookie Cutters
Working Men and Women Cookie Cutters

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