In the past, I have made cookies and various other homemade treats for friends and family for various occasions. I planned to purchase cookie cutters for this holiday season and then use them to make seasonally-appropriate holiday cookies as part of my gifts to everyone. Well, my husband (being the amazing man that he is) purchase a large tub of cookie cutters and gave them to me as an early Christmas gift. The tub includes the entire alphabet, numbers, holidays, mug cookie cutters, and various other shapes. It is my belief that if you are unfamiliar with something, then it is a good idea to do a practice run prior to the “real deal”. So, the following is my “practice run” in preparation for my Christmas cookies.
Recipe found on the peanut butter chip package and pictured below
- 1 cup butter
- 1 ½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 package peanut butter morsels
Instructions as package described
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar
- Stir in the eggs and vanilla
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt
- Stir into the creamed mixture
- Fold in the peanut butter morsels
- Drop by teaspoonfuls, two inches apart, onto greased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes
- Follow package instructions as listed above from steps one through 6.
- Instead of spooning individual cookies onto a baking sheet, pour the entire dough ball into a greased baking pan (9×13)
- Evenly spread the dough on the bottom of the baking pan
- Bake for 10 minutes, check with a toothpick, and continue to bake and check for periods of 3-5 minutes until toothpick comes out clean
As I previously mentioned, the purpose of baking this cookie recipe is to practice using my new cookie cutters in preparation for the holidays. I grabbed some random cookie cutters to experiment with. I had a duck, a heart, a star, and a rabbit. The cookie cutters worked nicely, however I felt that this cookie recipe may have been thicker than the typical cookie-cutter recipe.
So, I decided to try again! This time I tried a simple chocolate chip cookie mix. It only required the contents of the chocolate chip cookie mix, an egg and butter. This time, I followed the package instructions (for the chocolate chip cookie mix) and then instead of pouring the dough into a baking pan (9×13), I chose to roll the dough ball onto a baking sheet. I rolled the dough to about ⅛ of an inch or so in thickness and then baked as instructed by the package instructions.
Once the chocolate chip cookie was done, I allowed it to cool and then used specific cookie cutters to spell out “Happy Birthday” and various other shapes as a birthday gift for my sister in law.
As it can clearly be seen in the photos, the second method of using a baking sheet rather than a baking pan was much better for cookie cutting. I believe this is due to the baking pan keeping the cookies thick, which is appealing as a cookie “bar” but when attempting to cut specific shapes with cookie cutters, they are too thick to hold their shape. Alternatively, the baking sheet cookies were thin enough to hold their cookie-cutter shapes but would not make quality cookie bars.