Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan share’s baking wisdom from her latest cookie compendium, Dorie’s Cookies. Her spiced, citrusy, chocolate-dipped Pfefferneusse cookies are perfect for the holiday season.

By Hannah Klinger
December 02, 2016
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Photo: Alan Richardson

Celebrated cookbook author Dorie Greenspan has a new cookbook on bookshelves just in time for the holiday baking season. Her book, Dorie's Cookies, features more than 160 cookie recipes that meet her "three purple stars" standard of scrumptiousness. Here, Greenspan shares her must-know tips for all the holiday baking you're bound to do.

1. Measure By Weight, Not Volume

Dorie prefers weights (in grams) over volume (cups and teaspoons) for more accurate baking, an approach we love. Buy a scale (they run about $15), and zero out the scale before adding each ingredient to the bowl.

2. Cut Butter Into Chunks

Dorie calls to cut butter into pieces after measuring. Not only will this help it come to room temperature faster, it will also disperse more evenly when blended with sugar. It is possible to have butter that’s too soft. If you’re not sure, do the thumbprint test.

3. Beat Until Blended, No More

Dorie instructs to beat the butter and sugar together until just blended, and stir in the dry ingredients just until they’ve disappeared into the dough. You don’t want to risk adding air to the batter—desirable for a cake, but not ideal for a dense cookie.

Photo: Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, RUX Martin Books

4. Rotate Pans During Baking

Ovens usually have hot spots that can lead to uneven bakes. Dorie solves the problem by rotating the pans halfway through baking. Rotate the baking sheets from front to back, and from top to bottom if you’re using more than one oven rack. Do this quickly so your oven doesn’t lose too much heat through the open door.

5. Let Cookies Cool

Yes, it’s tempting to dive into a baking sheet full of warm cookies, but Dorie says the wait is worth it to get the best texture. Cool cookies are also easier to dip and decorate. Make sure to let the cookies set again for the best results.