You will need:
- Sugar cookie dough (homemade or storebought)
- ½ cup each of flour and confectioner’s sugar in a wide shallow dish
- cookie cutters of your choice
- dough cutter or thin metal spatula
- rolling pin
- cookie sheets
- parchment paper
- ¼” thick square cut or flat wooden dowels, minimum 12” long
2. Take a ball of dough a little bigger than your fist and flatten it slightly with your hands. Flour the surface liberally and place the dowels on either side of the dough disk. The trick to getting a consistent cookie is to use rolling pin guides. I use balsa wood dowels that are 1/4" thick and flat. You can purchase these bad boys in the model aisle at your local craft store for less than a dollar. Some folks may opt to actually buy those rubber rolling pin bands that serve the same purpose, but note that they do not fit every rolling pin nor are they easy to use IMO.
3. Now start rolling! The benefit to using the dowels is that you can move them around as needed to keep everything consistent. Make sure that they are never spaced wider than your rolling pin! Remember to dust the dough, your rolling pin, and the work surface as needed.
5. Use your dough cutter or spatula to lift the cookie up. It's really important that it be as thin a spatula as possible if you aren't using a dough cutter.
6. When it's time to bake the cookies, bake them about 25F lower than the recipe calls for. Intense heat on a baked good can cause the edges to bake faster than the center, especially with a thick cookie. Lower heat means increased baking time, so cook them about 6-7 minutes, flip the pan around in the oven and then give it another 6-7 minutes. As you can see in the picture below, the cookies have come out with a light golden tinge around the edges. The fish with the darker tail is actually thinner than the rest; this is a good example of why it's really important to use rolling pin guides of some kind so that the cookies are all the same thickness!
And voila! There you have it, the perfect cookie. Soft yet firm, crisp but not too crunchy, light and golden! So to sum it all up:
- work in small batches for better control
- 1:1 flour and confectioner's sugar for dusting
- use guides to create a consistent thickness
- bake it low and slow