Friday, 20 July 2012

Baking cookies... again!

Following on from the previous post (Cut-out Cookies), once you have found a recipe that works for you, there are a few tricks to getting the best results from your dough.

Unless it isn't recommended for that particular recipe, I generally refrigerate my cookie dough before rolling it out.
I roll out onto a non-stick silicone mat, but you can use wax-paper. And I place a sheet of wax paper on top of the dough, too.

You can buy dowels at the hardware store - they are a great way to ensure that you roll out your dough to an even thickness.

Then pop the cut-outs into the fridge or even the freezer for about 15 minutes.

I don't have many baking sheets, or a very big oven, so I put cut-outs on wax-paper while I'm waiting for the cookies to bake, then slip the whole sheet onto a baking tray when one comes out the oven.

Bake at the recommended temperature, and set your oven timer! Cookies bake fast, and there are countless times that I would have completely forgotten that I had a batch in the oven if it weren't for the timeous reminder of the timer!

Leave your cookies to harden and cool slightly before transferring to the cooling rack, just so that they are not too delicate to move. Let them cool completely before icing.

If I'm not flooding them shortly after baking, then I store the cookies in Tupperware with paper towel between the layers.
The paper towel also absorbs some of the surface grease, which should help to prevent fat spots leaching into the Royal Icing.

If it is a particularly high-fat cookie, then I put new paper towel between the cookie layers the next day. This is also really helpful in humid summer when nothing dries out as quickly as you want it to - especially cookies and Royal Icing.  

Happy baking!



  1. Hey ...
    I am so Glad I found you.
    I have a real problem, every time I ice my cookies, they go soft? are they suppose to or is it the humidity? I am in Joburg, so we don't have it as badly as you do?

  2. Hi!

    Humidity, grrrr! Yes, it is really frustrating at this time of year!

    First, make sure your cookies have dried well and crispy after baking. Only ice cool, dry biscuits.
    And if you aren't decorating them immediately, store in an airtight container between layers of paper towel.
    What I've been doing - once the cookies have been iced, is drying them in the oven with the fan on, and a tiny tiny bit of heat, or in a warmer drawer if you have one. And I'll keep them in the oven overnight.
    Once they're completely dry, store them in cellophane bags, or in an airtight container between paper towel again.

    I hope that helps!


  3. Marina
    Thanks I will defiantly give that a try. Just one other thing, the Actiwhite RI, does that taste the same as the egg white?

  4. Pleasure!

    I think it does - but to be honest it's been a while since I tasted the fresh egg white version!
    And definitely add a bit of flavouring - vanilla extract, caramel essence, lemon extract, etc.


  5. Hi Tiffany Spencer just recommended your site to me , what a find it is. Anyway I have 120 Gingerbread cookies to make for my Daughters wedding in December but we don't want to be making them in the last week, can the dough be frozen before baking or can the cookies be frozen once baked or neither. We are in the UK so don't suffer the same humidity problems we used to in Durban

    1. Hi, Susan
      Lovely to hear from a friend of Tiffany's :o)
      Yes, you can definitely freeze the dough, or even the cookies once they're baked. I'd just recommend thawing the baked cookies in a warm oven, to help crisp them up again (I put mine on to the lowest temp, which is 50'C, with the thermofan on). But in low humidity, you might not even need to do that.
      All the best for the wedding!