Cooking School

5 ways you're screwing up your holiday cookies

Photography by Jeff Coulson Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Jeff Coulson

Cooking School

5 ways you're screwing up your holiday cookies

1. Using butter that's not softened enough. If a recipe calls for softened butter, make sure your butter is completely soft throughout. In order to beat butter with sugar so that it becomes light and fluffy (which will give your cookies a perfectly baked texture), you need to start with softened butter. Leave the portioned butter out on your kitchen counter for a couple hours to let it soften, or use this method if you're in a hurry. Make sure the butter is soft but do not melt it; melted butter will change the consistency of your dough which will make your cookies lose that melt-in-your-mouth quality.

2. Overworking your dough.
For the best possible texture, don't overwork the dough. Rock-hard is not a festive cookie most people enjoy!



3. Not properly measuring out your dough.
Making sure your cookies are even in size will ensure that they bake evenly. Take extra time to shape your dough using measuring spoons so that each morsel of dough is as big or as small as the next.

4. Overbaking or underbaking your cookies.
Most cookies will continue firming as they cool, so you really want to take care not to overbake them. Meanwhile, underbaking will make them too soft and doughy. Not sure how long to bake the cookies for? Bake one cookie on its own first and taste it so you know exactly how long the batch should go in the oven for. Pay special attention to hot spots in your oven so you can adjust timing as needed.
5. Storing your cookies improperly. Before storing your cookies, make sure they're completely cool to avoid steam. Some types of cookies will contain more moisture than others, so it's always best to package different types of cookies separately. Layer cookies between sheets of waxed or parchment paper to prevent them from sticking and, to prevent cookies from drying out, package them in an airtight container.

Bake up a holiday storm with these recipes for the prettiest cookies.

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5 ways you're screwing up your holiday cookies

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