How to make perfect sugar cookies

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Many of us are into holiday cookie baking and exchanges. I make a lot of traditional Italian cookies for Christmas and the last one I usually make are not Italian at all but good old fashioned cut out sugar cookies. We all have our favorite recipe. Here are some tricks for turning out perfect sugar cookies.

1)    Make sure your cookie cutters have a sharp clean edge on them. I like to look for unusual cutters to add to my collection

2)    Roll the dough between sheets of parchment paper; this minimizes the need to dust the cookies with flour as you roll because additional flour can toughen them

3)    Use a dry silicon brush to dust away excess flour on cut outs before they are baked

4)    Use rimless baking sheets; they conduct heat more evenly

5)    Roll the dough to an even thickness so all the cookies will bake uniformly

6)    Use a wide face metal spatula lightly dusted with flour to lift and slice cookies onto baking sheets

7)    Don’t bake more than two trays at a time and rotate them halfway through the baking cycle

8)    For large cut outs like gingerbread men, reindeer and others cut them out right on the parchment paper; this eliminates having to lift them off a work surface and position them on a baking sheet

9)    Frost after all cookies have cooled so glaze does not drip off

10)  To freeze; let cookies dry completely after frosting, then wrap and lay flat in containers.

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