So I have a confession. I am not much of a cookie cutter baker. I love drop cookies. Quick easy, chewy, and you and turn out a lot at once. So having to chill a dough, roll it out, try to get a consistent thickness and then cut out the shape and get a meaningful amount onto a cookie sheet only to get something that usually has “snap” to it doesn’t usually thrill me at all. However, this holiday season I see a cookie cutter cookie design I just had to try.
As I started getting my ideas together as to what dough I would use I found two. I also found an article that talked about a hack that might help. That hack? Rolling your dough out on your silpats or parchment paper, cutting out the shapes and then pulling away the unneeded parts so the intricacies of the cutter weren’t stretched in moving the cookie once cut. This worked well to a certain degree however I was then confined to how my dough rolled out as to how many cookies I could get on a cookie sheet.
Once my dough was chilled I rolled it out only to get frustrated with not being able to control the thickness of the dough. This meant all the cooking times would have to be closely monitored as each tray would come out slightly different. All of these issues we’re not making this a fun process.
While I was working on trying to get these cookies cut out my husband came down and I was telling him my issues. I then commented it would be great if I had a frame the size of my cookie sheet that was my desired thickness ¼ -⅛ of an inch thickness. Then I could plop the dough in it and just roll it out and it would be perfectly even. After scything this I kept thinking about it. All I really needed was something on both side of the dough that was the thickness I was shooting for. Something thin and flat. I kept thinking. Then it hit me…
Magazines! I have a ton of cooking magazines. I measured the spine of them and found the special issues of Fine Cooking or Martha Stewart Living were about ¼ inch. I placed them so the spines were facing the dough on either side and rolled out my dough. I found ¼ inch was WAY too thick. So I went back to my magazines and find two issues of fine cooking that were thinner and tried the idea again…
Presto! Using a straight rolling pin and magazines on either side, allowed me to roll with pressure and not worry about thickness. Rolling it out on the parchment allowed me to move the dough around measuring the entire piece came out to the same thickness. Then it was a matter of following the original tip. If I did this on the silpat I could trim off anything that went past the edges and put it on any parts that were not covered and roll it out again until I achieve a full silpat of dough and then cut them out. This ensured I got the maximum number of cookies on the sheet.
With having the same thickness that meant I could figure out how long it would take to bake and then record that time and cook all remaining sheets that way. This process eliminated the stress of how to get even thickness, a full sheet, and consistent cooing times down without having to be amazingly skilled with a rolling pin. Now making cookie cutter cookies can be something I can enjoy even if it does take more time than a drop cookie.