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Tips for baking your own gingerbread cookies

Brynne Brown


Gingerbread cookies are the perfect way to spice things up for the holiday season; here’s how to make your spice extra nice.

The basics of a good gingerbread recipe are a staple in every household during the holiday season. A quick Google search will provide you with endless variations with a recipe to make your own, but now that your dough is made, how will you make sure your cookies are dressed for the best?

One simple tip to make sure your dough doesn’t get too soft is to chill it in your refrigerator before you handle it for your cutouts. Chilling the dough will help it to become firm and to hold together while you roll it out, saving you the stress of peeling it from your rolling pin. A good amount of time to let your dough rest is at least about an hour and a half to two hours. This also gives you plenty of time to pop in a holiday classic on the television while you wait to get in the spirit of the season.

Once your dough is chilled, you’ll probably be excited to make your pieces, but don’t be overzealous. Overworking your dough will cause your cookies to be tough and not firm like they are supposed to be. To combat this, try to plan out your rolls and try to cut down on how many times you reroll your dough. You can also add a bit of white vinegar to keep the dough tender, without having an acidic taste in the cookies.

You’ll want to bake your cookies according to your preferred recipe, but when it’s time to take them out, don’t skip past the cool down. Letting your cookies chill is crucial to having your decorations look the best that they can. Allow your cookies to cool on a cooling rack before you frost them to avoid your frosting from melting off. If you plan on adding any other candy decorations, you’ll want to add them promptly so they stick to the frosting. One of the most commonly used frostings is a simple royal icing, which will add both elegance and flavor. Let your frosting dry before moving your cookies to storage.

Storing your cookies properly is key to keeping them firm and chewy. An airtight container is your best friend when it comes to storage. Keeping the cookies in a sealed container will extend their shelf life much more than leaving them in the open air.

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