Basics for Making Molded Cookies
Molded cookies, made from stiff dough, are shaped by hand or
in a mold before baking.
Cookies can be hand-shaped into wreaths, crescents, canes, logs,
Balls are sometimes shaped further, either flattened with the bottom
of a glass, mashed lightly with a thumbprint, or pressed with a fork in a
crisscross pattern (as for peanut butter cookies.)
Some cookies, such as hermits or biscotti,
are molded into large flattened loaves and later cut into smaller cookies. Almond
crescents, shortbread, madeleines, snickerdoodles, thumbprints, and biscotti are
classic hand-shaped cookies.
Cookies Formed in Molds
You can also shape cookies using cookie molds,
mold pans, cookie stamps, or a specialty rolling pin (a Springerle rolling pin) –
each created with designs to be pressed into the dough. Designs can be simple
or intricate, often producing edible works of cookie art.
The Elf's Top Tips for Molding Cookie Dough
- If dough is too soft or sticky, cover and refrigerate for 30
to 60 minutes before shaping and baking. Scrape down the side of the bowl
before chilling the dough.
- Don’t allow the dough to become too cold or it will be hard
- If dough is too cold, allow it to sit at room temperature
until easy to handle.
- To create uniformly-sized hand-molded cookies, scoop the
dough with a spoon, melon ball shaper, or a small ice cream scoop with a
How to Mold Dough That Is Too Sticky
If the dough is too sticky to handle, try one of these
- Refrigerate dough until it is slightly chilled and stiffer.
- Dust your hands with flour, powdered sugar, or cocoa powder
to prevent sticking.
- Rinse your hands in cold water to cool your hands and
prevent sticking. Wash your hands periodically between rolling cookies to
prevent further stickiness.
How to Mold Cookies Into Balls
To form dough into balls, grasp a heaping teaspoon of dough
with your fingertips. Roll the dough between your palms until it forms a ball.
Roll the balls quickly and only 3 or 4 times between the palms of your hands.
If the dough is rolled too much, it will become too soft and cause the cookies
to not hold their shape while baking.
How to Coat Molded Cookies With Toppings
You can layer shaped cookies with a coating to modify the
appearance, flavor, or texture – or all three. Finely chopped nuts, cocoa powder,
powdered sugar, decorative sugars, nonpareils, or sugar sprinkles are often
used to coat cookies.
Roll or dip shaped cookies in water or egg whites to allow
coatings to adhere evenly to cookies. Place a small amount of the coating in a
shallow pan or pie plate. This way, each cookie will have a fresh coating and
crumbs will not sully the rest of the toppings. Add just a few cookies at a
time to the pan. Gently shake the pan back and forth to roll cookies and coat
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