Our Favorite Christmas Cookie Cutters for Holiday Baking
'Tis the season for all things merry and bright, which includes one of our favorite holiday traditions: making dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies. What's not to love about the smell of freshly-baked cookies filling the kitchen and the sounds of festive music playing in the background while decorating those treats with loved ones? In addition to having a great recipe, cookie cutters that are on-theme are another must. To ensure that your cookies keep their shape while baking in the oven, you need to start with cold dough. "I'm usually making cookies with the kids, which means chilling the dough in smaller portions to offer a quick roll-out before getting them right into the oven," says Rachel Diaz Pirard, co-owner and pastry chef of Casa Ora in Brooklyn, New York. Working with cold dough should also help with sticking, but if you find that the dough is still adhering to your cutter, she recommends drying the cutter and making sure there's no dough residue on it; lightly dusting your cutters with flour before pressing them into the dough will also help.
As far as decorating goes, Belinda Wei, co-owner and chef of Dear Bella Creamery in Los Angeles, California, is all about chocolate. "I will find anything to dip in chocolate, especially cookies, which I do a half dip on," she says. "This is my favorite way to decorate cookies because it adds a velvety layer of texture, gives a touch of decadence, and toppings stick really well to it." For frosting, buttercream is her go-to as the texture is a nice contrast to the cookies, plus sprinkles sit on top rather than sinking in.
When it comes to cleaning cookie cutters, both chefs recommend steering clear of the dishwasher. "Wash them by hand with mild dish soap and towel dry to prevent moisture from eroding the metal," Pirard advises. "The packaging may say dishwasher-safe, but I never recommend it for long-term use of the cutters."
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