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6 tips for the perfect holiday cookies

By: Movement Team
December 5, 2023
There’s nothing like making festive holiday cookies when it’s getting colder outside, and you can cozy up by the fire with your friends and family.

This holiday season, Movement is bringing you six tips to help make your cookie-baking experience even better than before. We’ve got some cool tricks, like how to utilize your paper towel roll and why room-temperature ingredients are usually better, so get ready to take your cookies to the next level!

Here are some tips and tricks for the perfect holiday cookies:

1 - Room temperature is the best temperature

As weird as this might sound, working with room-temperature ingredients can actually help your baking masterpieces turn out better and is worth the effort!

Depending on the ingredients you need for your recipe, of course, you can leave eggs, butter, milk, cream cheese, sour cream and other items that are usually found in the fridge out on your counter to reach room temperature before baking.

Say you’re planning on making some festive cookies later tonight; you can go ahead and set those ingredients on the counter to get to room temperature beforehand!

However, if you don’t have time to set out your eggs or butter, there are quicker ways to get them to room temperature, too.

For your eggs, you can put them in a bowl of warm water and let them sit for at least five minutes or until they no longer feel chilled.

For your butter, it’s not often recommended to stick it in the microwave, but if you do, just make sure it doesn’t liquefy. You can also just cut up your butter and set it on the counter to help it reach room temperature faster.

2 - Your oven is YOUR oven

This may sound strange to bring up, but it’s important to remember that your oven is YOURS. It’s not your mother’s, your grandmother’s, your neighbors or anyone else’s for that matter.

The point we’re trying to make here is that no oven is exactly like another, which means things may bake a little differently in your oven compared to the baking instructions.

Instead of only paying attention to the baking time the recipe gives you, also be on the lookout for other indicators that your cookies may be finished. For example, the recipe may say to look for a “golden brown” when the cookies are baking to show that they’re finished.

But what if they turn golden before the timer’s up, you may ask? Don’t worry, it’s OK to take them out if your cookies turn golden brown in 10 minutes, even if the recipe suggests they bake for 15 minutes instead.


3 - Parchment paper is your new best friend

No one wants to worry about washing their baking sheets after working so hard to make the perfect Christmas cookies.

If that sounds like you, no problem! By using parchment paper on your baking sheets, you can skip having to grease them, which saves you the time of cleaning your baking sheets, AND your cookies won’t stick!

BUT did you know that parchment paper isn’t just useful for cutting down on cleaning up? Parchment also acts as an insulator between the baking sheet and the cookies to help prevent over-browning as well as stop the cookies from spreading out too much. (You know, so you don’t get one colossal cookie when you wanted six separate ones?)

4 - Don’t skip out on the cooling rack

Did you know that cookies can continue to bake on the baking sheet even after they come out of the oven? Well, it’s true!

Usually, it’s safe to let your cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes to make sure they are firm enough to sit on a cooling rack. But your cookies should then be transferred to the cooling racks because this can help prevent your cookies from over-baking.

The cooling racks also allow the cookies to cool faster because air is able to get to all sides, unlike on a baking sheet. Plus, cookies usually turn out crispier when you use cooling racks because there is not as much condensation present, causing them to get soft.

5 - The paper towel trick

If you’re looking for a simpler way to make perfectly round cookies but don’t want to buy new tools, you may want to take a second look at your paper towel roll.

Once you use a paper towel roll, don’t throw out that cardboard tube just yet. When you make slice-and-bake cookies, the dough is usually rolled into a log that you can chill in the fridge before slicing and baking. However, even if that log is round to start with, it will likely flatten out some when sitting in the fridge.

But, by using the cardboard center of your paper towel roll, you can cut it open, place your log of cookie dough inside and then leave it to chill in the fridge. This way, the log will stay nice and round for you to slice your cookies later.

6 - If it’s weird, it’s there for a reason

Sometimes, you may pull a cookie recipe from a website but see that there are some weird steps that it calls for. This could be anything from an unusual method to calling for more eggs than you may have expected.

As weird as these may seem, DON’T SKIP THEM! As little or obscure as these things may sound, it could mean the difference between soft, buttery cookies and hard, dense ones.

So next time you see a strange step in your recipe, try and go with the flow because whoever came up with this recipe probably had a good reason to leave that step there.

Ready to put these tips to the test?

Now that you know the secrets to getting the best holiday cookies ever, you’re ready to get in the kitchen and try them out!

We hope your festive treats are delicious, tasty and full of sweetness! (Especially since holiday calories don’t count).

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Author: Movement Team

About Movement Mortgage
Movement Mortgage exists to love and value people by leading a Movement of Change in its industry, corporate culture, and communities. Funding approximately $30 billion in residential mortgages annually, Movement is the sixth-largest retail mortgage lender in the U.S. Movement is best known for its innovative mortgage process and referable experience, which begins with Upfront Underwriting and a seven-day loan processing goal. The company employs more than 4,000 people, has more than 650 branches in the U.S. and is licensed in 50 states. After funding its balance sheet and investing in future growth, Movement's profits are paid to its primary shareholder, the nonprofit Movement Foundation. To date, Movement Foundation has received more than $360 million of Movement profit to invest in schools, affordable housing, communities, and global outreach. For more information, visit