- Chefs share their tips on how to make the best holiday cookies.
- A chef working in the gluten-free market said the key is to let your dough rest.
- Another chef swears by baking with a friend or with family.
It’s the time of year when your baking skills are put to the test. You don’t want to show up to the party empty-handed, do you? We know that sometimes your oven can be your worst enemy… so we rounded up some advice from the best.
INSIDER spoke with chefs to get their expert opinion on making holiday cookies from tips and tricks to gluten-free baking advice.
One chef swears the key is to rest the dough.
Michael Wallace is the head chef and lead of the research and development team at Thomas Keller’s gluten-free flour company, Cup4Cup, the first 1:1 gluten-free flour company on the market.
“First thing I like to tell people, is the importance of resting the dough. I like to let it rest for at least two hours before baking. Next would be to allow the cookies to cool, after baking, for five minutes before transferring from the baking sheet, this allows the cookie to “set up.” You cannot overmix a gluten-free cookie since there is no gluten!”
Another said you should freeze your dough before baking.
“Scoop and freeze your dough before baking! Chilled dough is always best but it’s difficult to scoop when it’s cold,” Tricia Brennan Nally, chef at Sur La Table told INSIDER.
Chef Tricia also recommends that you bake with a friend. “It’s always easier to have extra hands. Try making multiple kinds of cookies with the same dough base, like a sugar or shortbread dough that can but turned into thumbprint cookies, sandwich cookies, rolled for cutouts, etc.” Chef Tricia said.
“I’m also a fan of quality over quantity. I’d rather give people one or two or the same kind of cookie (or any pastry) and have them be really good than give them 10 subpar cookies.”
Sur La Table offers many holiday baking classes, including Take & Bake workshops, as well as cookie decorating for kids. Taking a class can help with some new pointers, fresh ideas, and even help lighten the load at home by taking home treats from the classes that offer it.
Sometimes, having good tools can make a difference.
As a chef myself, I’ll share a few parting words. Always be sure to chill your dough before rolling it out – particularly if it is sugar cookie dough. It needs time to firm up so that the cookie cutters are able to create the sharpest lines in your dough.
I’d also recommend you purchase a bench knife, which will help you slice the dough, cut butter into flour, and more. Having the right tools in the kitchen can make all the difference. Other items I’d recommend you stock up on are a small offset spatula,Silpat baking mat, and different size cookie scoops.
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