What Are Cookie Molds and How Do You Use Them?

Cookie molds are gadgets used to make decorative cookies.

A mold’s intricate designs create bas-relief surface on the cookie dough, producing cookies that are detailed, edible works of art.

While the first molds were made of carved wood, today they are produced by specialty cookware and bake ware manufacturers in plastic, metal, terra cotta, resin, silicon, cast iron, and ceramic.

Designs are available in an almost limitless number of patterns. A cookie mold may be quite simple, just embossing shape into the dough. Others are quite elaborate, producing cookies that are three-dimensional baked art.

Getting Ready to Use Cookie Molds

Get the Proper Dough Consistency

Successful molded cookies begin with proper cookie dough consistency. The best recipes produce a firm dough that is easy to work (so that it can be imprinted by a stamp or rolling pin) but not too sticky (or the cookie surfaces will not be smooth.)

Prepare Cookie Molds

Oil the mold thoroughly with cooking spray or with a pasty brush dipped in oil. Dust the inside of the mold with flour to further prevent the cookies from sticking to the inside. If you’re making molded chocolate cookies, use cocoa to dust the inside of the mold. You don’t need to re-oil molds for each batch of cookies, but be sure to re-dust mold interiors.

Chill molds before filling them with cookie dough.

Kinds of Cookie Molds

Individual Molds

A simple mold is a shallow container with a decorative pattern on the bottom that holds and forms dough. To form cookies, press dough firmly into the mold to imprint the design onto its surface. Avoid pressing too hard so that dough does not crack. If your mold is one-sided, run a knife or spatula across the surface of the mold to remove excess dough and level the back of the cookie.

Invert the mold and strike it a couple of times to release the cookie. The cookie should release. If the cookie does not release, you have used too much oil. Clean the mold with a stiff dry brush, dust it once more with flour, and try again. Repeat the flour dusting of the mold before molding another cookie. If your mold is two-sided, then insert dough in both sides, squeeze the mold tightly, open it carefully, and remove the cookie from the mold.

Place the formed cookie on a baking sheet with detail side up and bake in the top third of your oven to highlight cookie details. Bake cookies according to recipe directions.

Mold Pans

Mold pans (also called shortbread molds) are filled with cookie dough, which is then baked in the mold and cut apart afterwards. To form cookies, gently press small amounts of dough into the prepared mold, starting at the center and working out, until the mold is full. Run a knife or spatula across the surface of the mold to remove excess dough and level the back of the cookie.

Bake the cookies according to recipe directions. Let cookies cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then loosen the edges with a knife, flip the pan over onto a cutting board, and allow the molded cookies to release from the pan. If the cookies do not release right away, hold the pan upside down over the cutting board and firmly tap on edge of the pan against the board to loosen the cookies, allowing them to drop out of the pan.

Cookie Stamps

You can also achieve an embossed effect by using cookie stamps, which work just like a regular ink stamp to press a design onto the dough before baking.

To stamp cookies, spread powdered sugar (or cocoa powder when using chocolate dough) on your work surface. Use a standard rolling pin to roll out your dough to the thickness of the cookie mold. For example, if the mold is half an inch thick, then you will need to roll your dough out the same thickness.

Press the mold onto the cookie dough and lift it straight off. Coat the mold in powdered sugar then repeat the process until you stamp all of the cookies. Separate the cookies with a sharp knife or rotary cutter. Bake according to recipe directions.

Springerle Rolling Pin

A carved rolling pin, known as a Springerle rolling pin, is used to make traditional German Springerle cookies. These specialty rolling pins are embossed with impressions. By rolling the dough carefully, you can imprint cookies with just one movement, creating beautiful bas-relief edible works of art.

Chill cookie dough and roll it with a regular, smooth-surfaced rolling pin as you would for traditional rolled cookies, from the center out into a circle or rectangle, about a ½-inch thickness. Keep a uniform thickness.

Use the Springerle rolling pin to carefully roll design impressions on the flat, even cookie dough surface. Cut the cookies along the pressed lines. With a spatula, transfer cookies to a baking sheet and bake them according to recipe directions.

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