6 tips to ensure the best Christmas cookies

  • Friday, December 7, 2012 10:15pm
  • Life

It’s cookiemaking season. To celebrate, we are going to roll out 12 recipes, one a day, until Dec. 21. That’s just before the holiday weekend. So you’ll have plenty of time to try out one. Or two. Or 12.

At first glance, they may look familiar. But a closer look at the recipe will reveal a contemporary twist: lemon bars with paprika? Don’t worry: It adds a festive zing. Click here for the recipe.

Keep checking back. I bet there’s at least one cookie that you won’t be able to resist.

These six steps from Rick Nelson of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis will ensure success ever time.

1. Proceed with caution. To avoid mishaps, read the recipe from start to finish — twice — before beginning. Many recipes require the dough to be refrigerated for a period of time.

2. Shop carefully. Many recipes use large eggs and all-purpose flour, unless otherwise noted. Invest in fresh baking powder, baking soda and spices.

3. Equip your kitchen. Use flat, shiny, rimless and insulated medium- to heavy-gauge aluminum baking sheets. Eliminate greasy baking sheets by using parchment paper or reusable silicon (such as Silpat) baking mats.

4. Measure carefully. Spoon flour and powdered sugar into the measuring cup (rather than using the measuring cup as a scoop) and level ingredients with a straight edge, such as a knife. Soften butter at room temperature until a light touch leaves a slight indentation, about 30 to 45 minutes.

5. Bake evenly. Preheat the oven for at least 20 minutes. Adjust baking rack to the oven’s middle position. For true accuracy, invest in an oven thermometer. Use one baking sheet at a time in the oven, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time. Cool baking sheets completely between batches either by alternating among several cookie sheets or running hot ones under cold water.

6. Store wisely. Most cookies remain fresh for up to a week when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Use separate containers to store different types of cookies.

More in Life

Beer and cupcakes: Snohomish brewer, baker form unlikely duo

Pacific Northwest Cupcakes uses SnoTown’s brews to make beer-infused sweet treats.

Woodward Canyon Winery continues to weave masterpieces

Owner Rick Small uses grapes from vines he used when he made wine in his back yard in the 1970s.

Snohomish brewer flavors beer with chilies from mom’s back yard

Beer of the Week: Smoked rye forms sturdy foundation for SnoTown’s well-balanced Loose Rooster.

Beer, wine, spirits: Snohomish County booze calendar

Dash to Diamond Knot: Flying Unicorn Racing is teaming up with Mukilteo’s… Continue reading

Marysville theater stages Noel Coward’s timeless ‘Blithe Spirit’

The cast and crew at the Red Curtain Arts Center do a fine job with the 1940s British play.

Stringed instruments get workout at Cascade Symphony concert

Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” is the orchestra’s first concert of the season.

Animating Van Gogh paintings proves to be trippy yet flawed

“Loving Vincent” relates the circumstances of the great painter’s death.

Confusing, muddled thriller confounds talented director, cast

“The Snowman,” based on a Scandinavian crime novel, suffers from catastrophic storytelling problems.

‘Breathe’ ignores all the inspirational movie cliches

It tells the story of a polio patient and his wife who helped change attitudes about the disabled.

Most Read