Let’s talk about my go to kitchen tools when you are ready to tackle a sugar cookie roll out recipe, and why they are so important for the job.
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If you are new to baking, or new to creating decorative sugar cookies, then you may or may not have heard of a cookie recipe being referred to as a ‘rollout recipe.’ Honestly I’m not even sure where the term came from, but it refers to a cookie dough recipe that you roll out to a desired thickness and then use cookie cutters to cut shapes from it.
Now a rollout recipe is not to be confused with a shortbread cookie. While they are somewhat similar in ingredients and rolling out, the shortbread cookie does not contain leveling agent (baking powder), and will generally be a denser. A sugar cookie rollout recipe does contain a leveling agent, but are also softer, lighter and hold their shape well against the cookie cutter shape. This makes it easier to be able to decorate intricate designs onto the cookie.
This blog post is specifically discussing kitchen tools for rollout sugar cookie recipes only. More specifically, I am sharing the kitchen tools I use to create the recipes shared on my website. Some other recipe developers may or may not use these same tools, or even other tools not listed. The purpose of this post is to inform and educate you on how I use the tools so that if you choose to make a rollout recipe of mine then you are better equipped for the task.
So let’s go through each of the kitchen tools I always have on hand when preparing and baking rollout sugar cookies!
As previously mentioned, these are the kitchen tools I use for my recipes. These may or may not vary among other recipe developers for rollout recipes.
This kitchen tool is by far the most important one for me – for anything baking related. I cannot recommend the kitchen scale enough to anyone that is willing to listen. So what is the benefit you wonder? Well, a lot. Almost all recipe developers create recipes using both weight (grams) and volume (cups), but will recommend creating the recipe with weight measurements. The reason is because baking using weight vs. volume drastically decreases any room for error.
For example, if you take a cup to measure flour, most people will scoop that cup into their flour. They might level it off from the top, or they might shake off the excess. Either way, you don’t really know if the flour you measured is truly a cup. Many food bloggers will recommend the spoon and level way to fill the cup, which is essentially using your spoon fill the cup, and then taking a knife to level off from the top. This should equate to a cup of flour….but it may still be uncertain.
While this is a much better approach than just scooping and shaking off excess, in a rollout recipe this could lead to a cookie that has more spread than anticipated because there was not enough flour…or a cookie that is very dry because there was extra flour. Naturally this would be frustrating for any baker.
The kitchen scale eliminates those possible errors, and will help you to achieve the recipe meant to be made. They can be very inexpensive. Amazon has them for as little as $9 (with batteries), or you could buy a rechargeable (as shown in my photo) for roughly $25. Best investment I’ve made so far.
With a paddle attachment comes the stand mixer. Yes, stand mixers can be quite expensive and it is a bit of a costly investment. If you are planning to bake more than 2x or 3x a month, or plan to make rollout sugar cookies a hobby, than I would recommend one. A stand mixer will save you a lot of time.
A hand mixer can do well with rollout recipes, but you will need to finish up cohering/kneading the dough with your hands towards the end to ensure it really comes together.
The paddle attachment is important in the recipe because it does all the hard work for you. It is made to combine ingredients in a dough that will be heavy. A whisk attachment (or on a hand held mixer) is better used for incorporating air – think whipping egg whites or whip cream. So the paddle attachment is the way to go here – less air in the dough and much better equipped to bring the heavy dough together.
Naturally a rolling pin is needed, and generally a common staple in a kitchen if you bake cookies. However, the rolling pin with measuring guides makes your life soooo much easier. I actually didn’t use a rolling pin with measuring guides until probably 4 years into baking. The first few years were for experimenting, but as I began to learn the ropes I began to notice a few things from my own baking I could improve.
For example, I began to realize that my cookies were NOT even. They were only slightly skewed and not very noticeable….until I began to see my royal icing sliding off to one part of the cookie. Oops.
Using measuring guides is actually so helpful because it ensures an even playing field on your cookie, but it also gives you the flexibility to roll your dough as thin or as thick as you’d like. The rolling pin with guide truly takes the guesswork out of the height of your cookie and leaves one less thing to worry about. I purchased this one on Amazon and they are roughy $20.
A rubber spatula, or silicone spatula, can and will be used across all your bakes. In my rollout recipes I use it to scrape down the bowl through every stage of mixing. I want to make sure that every part of the ingredients is incorporated as much as possible, so I use the spatula after each ingredient addition to scrape down and then mix again.
It kind of goes without saying that cookie cutters are needed for a rollout recipe, but I did want to share that I do prefer the plastic cookie cutters to the metal. This is mainly because the plastic cookie cutters I purchase (Hey SugarRex, Brighton Cutters) are made with high grade filament, and their process of creation ensures they are sturdy and reliable.
Metal cookie cutters I have found are not very sturdy, so you may not get the precise shapes intended. Please note this is only my own experience! If you have had good experiences with metal cutters than by all means continue!
I roll out my dough between two pieces of parchment, and then will refrigerate it like that for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. I’ve found this to be the easiest method for myself.
I recommend parchment paper for at least rolling out the dough. Placing the dough between two pieces of parchment eliminates the need to add any extra flour to your dough and potentially make too dry. Plus parchment paper is nonstick so clean up is so much easier.
After baking cookies its best to remove them from direct and indirect heat (top of stove) so they can begin to cool and set. A cooling rack is your best option.
Also, an honorable mention to the oven thermometer! Most of us rely on our ovens to be accurate in temperature, but having an oven thermometer is a good idea to ensure you don’t have an oven running too low or too hot.
I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful! Whether it to be for my rollout sugar cookies recipes, or just your own baking needs, I hope it was informative and will benefit you on all your next baking adventures. Please feel free to comment below with any questions you may have!