You are currently viewing I’m no genius. But I know genius when I see it.

I’m no genius. But I know genius when I see it.

130206 rolling dough


When it comes to cookies, I’m not afraid to say it: I make some fine specimens. But when it comes to decorated cookies—the kind you roll out, bake, and prettify—well, I kinda suck.

Good thing I know an expert. Gail Dosik, the owner of New York City’s One Tough Cookie, does work so spectacular I almost want to kill her. We’re talking painstakingly detailed edible artwork, the kind of stuff that requires a hand steady enough to defuse bombs. And Gail has a blog.

On that blog, she shared a bit of genius so smack-your-head obvious, and yet (as far as I’ve heard) so little-known, I have to share it with you: When you make dough for rolled cookies, don’t follow the instructions. Don’t refrigerate two disks of dough, then attack those too-stiff hockey pucks with a rolling pin. By the time the dough softens enough to roll, it’s so squishy you can’t transfer the cut cookies to the cookie sheet, and then they bake up all puffy and misshapen. Trust me, I know about this.

Instead, as soon as you turn off the mixer, scoop half the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Cover with a second piece, and roll to your desired thickness. Repeat with the other half. Freeze the whole thing (I stacked mine on an upside-down cookie sheet), and when you’re ready to bake all you’ll need to do is cut and bake. Shockingly easy. And clean. The rolling pin never touches the dough, and because you’re rolling on parchment paper you won’t have to coat your workspace with flour to prevent sticking. I baked off one sheet of rolled-out Chocolate Sugar Cookie dough just now, and it was the best rolled-cookie experience I’ve ever had. The other sheet I cut in half for storage, then wrapped tightly in two layers of foil. It’ll make some fine Valentine’s Day cookies next week.

Gail goes into more detail on her blog, and I urge you to see for yourself.

If you like to roll and decorate cookies, this technique is a game-changer.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Gail already changed my life once with her treatise on why we SHOULDN’T sift, and instead, whisk. How did I miss this post??

    1. Debbie Koenig

      I’m just glad I was able to call it to your attention, Amber 😉

  2. Heather

    But wait… You did think of it for your almond sesame crackers! I was just thinking about how I don’t love to waste the parchment but I do love the results!

    1. Debbie Koenig

      True, Heather, but the difference here is the freezing post-roll, pre-cut. Usually sugar cookie dough is refrigerated, then rolled, and sometimes chilled again before baking. Extra steps & much trickier. My crackers don’t spread so they don’t need to be chilled–they’re super-simple.

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