Decorate Like a Pro: Expert Q&A -- How Do You Roll Out Cookies? | LilaLoa: Decorate Like a Pro: Expert Q&A -- How Do You Roll Out Cookies?

Decorate Like a Pro: Expert Q&A -- How Do You Roll Out Cookies?


What is the #1 BEST WAY to roll out sugar cookies? The answer -- whatever works FOR YOU. Nine cookie decorating experts tell us their favorite way to roll out their sugar cookies!! 



If you know me at all, or have ever taken a class with me, or even breathed air in the same room as me...you are probably aware that I'm a big fan of "do what you want." Don't boss other people and don't let anyone boss you. In life and in cookie decorating, I absolutely love that there are so many truly great ways to get to the same place.


Sometimes people ask me a cookie decorating question and I actually feel like I am doing them a disservice by answering...because I don't want them to think that there is only ONE RIGHT WAY to do everything. I decided to put together a Super Team of expert decorators to help answer some of the common questions that I get asked all the time. So that YOU can see that there are many methods and opinions for decorating cookies and that ALL OF THEM ARE VALID. What works for one person, may not be a solution for another person. But it might!

Today I asked my Super Team the following questions:

1. How thick do you roll out your dough? 
2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough?



Amber Spiegel -- Sweet Ambs

1. How thick do you roll out your dough? I roll my dough to 3/16". 1/4" is just a little bit too thick for me!

2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough? I use a combination of rolling pins. I'd been using only a marble rolling pin for years. The weight of it is really helpful when rolling out dough. Recently, I was introduced to the Precision Rolling Pin (available from The Cookie Countess), which is a long wooden rolling pin with 1/4" guides on the ends.

After chilling my dough for at least an hour, I let it soften a bit (not too soft or it will be too difficult to roll). I place it on a Dough-EZ non-stick mat, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour, and use the precision rolling pin to get the dough to 1/4" thick. I go over it again with the marble rolling pin to thin it just a little more. While rolling, I make sure to lift the dough off the mat every so often to make sure it's not sticking to the mat. I also rotate the dough a quarter turn every few rolls to keep it in a rectangular shape so that it fits on a half-sheet pan.

After rolling, I move the sheets of dough onto parchment paper and put them into the freezer to chill again before cutting my shapes. I would say that if you're going to copy someone's cookie design, just tag the creator or link to their website. And if you're not sure if it's okay, just ask!


Visit SweetAmbs to learn more about Amber Spiegel and see her gorgeous tutorials. 


Anne Yorks -- Flour Box Bakery 


1. How thick do you roll out your dough? I like to roll cookies to ¼” thick. I like to use the spacer sticks from DoughEZ system to get a consistent thickness from cookie to cookie. I roll the dough between their ¼” spacer sticks. Once the dough is flat, and the pin is rolling on the sticks, I know the dough is ¼” throughout. In the past, I would eyeball cookies, but they were pretty inconsistent. I like that the same thickness will bake even every time.

2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough? I have tried several rolling methods, but my favorite is using the DoughEZ rolling system. It comes with a mat and spacer sticks (as mentioned above) I Iove the non-stick mat. It’s easy to roll cookies, peel back from the mat, and put on the cookie sheet. When rolling, I don’t add any additional flour to the rolling surface (so my recipe stays intact). I never liked the floury mess. And I felt like the additional flour changed my recipe as I re-rolled dough. It’s quick and easy clean-up, too. Normally I’m cleaned up before the cookies are even done baking!


Visit Flour Box Bakery to learn more about Anne Yorks and see all of her great tutorials and fantastic products.




Bridget Edwards -- Bake at 350

1. How thick do you roll out your dough? For a long time, I rolled them to 1/4" thick. Lately, I've been going for 3/8". More cookie, more better.

2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough? I roll dough on a sheet of floured waxed paper using a floured rolling pin. I'm a big believer in flour. (If I'm rolling a chocolate dough, I use a mix of flour and cocoa.) I use DoStix as guides to roll the dough evenly. (I cannot seem to find their shop online anymore.) I stack the 1/4" and 1/8" sticks.


Visit Bake at 350 to learn more about Bridget Edwards, see her fun tutorials and check out her delicious recipes.



Pam Sneed -- Cookie Crazie

 1. How thick do you roll out your dough?   3/8” (nice and thick!)

2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough? My CookieBoard makes my dough rolling easy and a pleasure. :)


Visit Cookie Crazie to learn more about Pam Sneed and to see her incredible tutorials using glaze icing. 


Sue Sparks -- Munchkin Munchies

1. How thick do you roll out your dough? I almost always roll out my cookies 3/8" thick. When I make "pinata" cookies I use the 1/4" band, since the cookie is stacked, three cookies in one.

2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough? I use the rubber measurement bands that fit onto my rolling pin. When I make "pinata" cookies I use the 1/4" band, since the cookie is stacked, three cookies in one.

Visit Munchkin Munchies to learn more about Sue and to check out all of her great tutorials and recipes!



Jill Wettstein -- Jill FCS
 
1. How thick do you roll out your dough? I roll our cookies out to 5/16" ... it's just my personal preference; I think it is the perfect ratio of icing to dough.

2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough?We roll our dough soft, right out of the mixer, between plastic wrap, using slats as the rolling pin guideline for consistent thickness.


Visit Jill FCS to learn more about Jill Wettstein and to see her incredibly unique style in action! 


Hillary Ramos - The Cookie Countess

1. How thick do you roll out your dough? The majority of the time I roll to 1/4". I do think rolling to a thicker 3/8" can be a good idea if you are shipping cookies, or if you are making cookie pops. If you sell your cookies, I would think hard about this question because thicker cookies use up a lot of dough -i.e. lots of butter and vanilla!

2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough? Rolling your dough to an even thickness is essential for decorated cookies. After trying all the available methods, we thought we could create something better - hence the development of The Cookie Countess Precision Rolling Pin! It is a HUGE solid wood pin that has a recessed area in the barrel that allows you to roll out your dough to a perfect thickness. Because it's an all in one process, you can roll your dough in any direction and roll out more of it at once. I like to roll out my dough between pieces of either wax paper, or plastic wrap. Then I will chill the rolled out pieces of dough before I cut out my cookies, that way I don't alter the shape while handling them. It's never good if you turn your circle into an oval while moving it from the counter to the cookie sheet!

Visit The Cookie Countess to learn more about Hillary and see all her amazing stencils and products!


Julia Usher -- Recipes for A Sweet Life and Cookie Connection

1. How thick do you roll out your dough? My preferred dough thickness depends on a couple of things: (1) the type of cookie I’m making and (2) if/how I’m shaping the cookie dough.

For normal flat rolled cookies (i.e., sugar cookies, gingerbread, etc.), I usually roll to about a 3/16-inch thickness, thinner than most other cookiers do, because I prefer a crunchy cookie to a cakey one. However, more delicate cookies, such as shortbread, often benefit from being rolled slightly thicker (closer to ¼ inch) – they’re less likely to crumble or break at this thickness; plus, IMO, their sandy texture is better appreciated if there’s more to bite into!

Conversely, if I’m making 3-D contoured cookies or embossing dough using texture mats, as I often do, I roll a bit thinner than 3/16 inch. The thinner the dough, the less likely it is to spread and crack when baked over curved surfaces, and the sharper the imprint will stay on embossed cookies. But, often, I don’t even roll out my dough! I love the dimensional effect of molded cookies – ones baked directly in silicone molds usually used with fondant.

2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough? I no longer serve customers and only bake now for video and class purposes, so I prefer to roll out a very small amount of dough at a time, in a very controlled way, and to cut out only a few cookies at a time. I am also often piecing together cookies into 3-D projects, so cookie fit is a big deal for me. That all being said, I always roll and cut on silicone mats, so the cookies don’t have to be directly handled and moved before baking. I simply lift up the silicone mat and place it directly on the cookie sheet, never touching the cut dough, and thus avoiding any possible misshaping. I typically roll with a small standard wooden rolling pin (with no guides), rotating the dough as I roll to achieve a uniform thickness. This process usually works well for most projects, but, if having all pieces the exact same thickness is critical to a certain design, then I will use a rolling pin with guides. Vermont Rolling Pins was kind enough to make one for me at my non-standard 3/16-inch rolling thickness, and I love it!

Now, if I still had my bakery and had larger orders to fill, I’d be rolling a completely different and more time-efficient way – probably with a sheeter.

Visit Recipes for A Sweet Life or Cookie Connection to learn more about Julia and see her incredibly detailed tutorials!




Georganne Bell -- LilaLoa (That's me!)

1. How thick do you roll out your dough? I currently roll my dough to 1/4" thick. When I first started making decorated cookies, I rolled my dough to 3/16" thick. If I'm making cookies on a stick, I will roll it to 3/8" thick.


2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough? I'm basically obsessed with the Dough EZ mat.  It's a non-stick silicone mat that comes with guide sticks so you get an even thickness every time. I used to make a giant flour mess every time I rolled out my cookies. And now...not only is there zero mess...but I can re-roll my dough as many times as I want to without it getting "tough" because of additional flour.

You can learn more about how I use the DoughEZ mat here.




It's YOUR TURN -- What do you think? 

1. How thick do you roll out your dough? 

2. What is your favorite method for rolling out dough?

Join the discussion in the comments below or on the LilaLoa Facebook page.