It’s Christmas time, and your family is craving your gingerbread cookies with their earthy, spicy flavors and the sweetness of the honey and molasses.
So, it’s time to bake a fresh batch.
After preparing your dough, you wonder how to cut out gingerbread cookies. What if you don’t have a cookie cutter at home?
Should you cut the cookies before or after baking?
This article will answer all your questions, so let’s dive in.
The easiest way to cut and shape your cookies is to use cookie cutters. But they aren’t always ready when you’re baking gingerbread cookies.
Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean that your cookie-making plans are ruined.
Cookie cutters are objects you can use at home to cut your cookies just the way you like them.
They come in various shapes and sizes, and you can use them to make different shapes. You can buy cutters related to specific occasions and special events, but without them, you can still have cute cookies that impress everyone.
These cutters can be made of different materials.
Aluminum cutters are cheap and easy to use but tend to lose shape easily. Copper cutters are more durable and can cut through detailed shapes.
Stainless steel cutters don’t lose their shape but are prone to rusting. Plastic cutters are affordable and easy to use, and your kids can safely use them, but they won’t deliver a precise cut.
Cutters are straightforward to use, but you have to spread the dough properly to be able to cut through it. You should also sanitize your countertop before beginning to spread the dough.
You can sprinkle some flour on top of the dough and knead it. Use a rolling pin to spread the dough.
Once your dough is spread, you can begin cutting it from the outside, working your way through the center. Keep the shapes close to one another to avoid wasting the dough.
If you can’t access any of these cutters, you can still have cute and amazing cookies.
Here are some tools to use if you don’t have cookie cutters at home.
An old or empty tin can be an excellent tool to use if you want to cut the dough.
You can cut it from both ends, which will help remove the dough if it gets stuck. You can also rub the can in some flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
Ensure you bend the sharp edges of the can to avoid cutting yourself.
You can use a drinking glass with a thin rim to cut through the dough.
You can cut the cookie dough into various sizes using different drinking glasses and cups.
The dough might stick onto the glass, so dip it in flour to avoid having stuck dough.
You can make small and large circles to make flowers or other shapes.
A pizza cut works like a knife to cut through the dough and make different shapes after making stencils.
Make stencils out of cardboard or wax paper and spread the dough. Draw the shapes or use the computer to draw the outlines and print them.
Then, use the pizza cutter to trace the cookie dough and make different geometric and decorative shapes.
Roll the cookie dough into a long log and cut it into small pieces using a knife. These might not look nice, but you can spread them and bend their edges to make them look better.
This isn’t the easiest tool to cut cookies, but if you can’t find anything else, you can use a knife to cut the dough into several desired shapes.
The result might not always be accurate. Yet, if there’s no access to any other tools, a knife will always save the day.
Ideally, you should cut your gingerbread cookies before baking, as this will allow you to make the best of the dough and have a clear idea of how your cookies will turn out to be.
But you can also cut your cookies after baking. You can wait until your cookies are halfway done so they aren’t too hard.
You can also wait until they’re fully baked and cut them into the desired shapes before they get too cold.
When the cookies are still hot, they might still be soft enough to be cut. Waiting until they cool off means that your cookies will harden.
Trying to cut them means that they will break.
Waiting to cut your cookies until after baking is tricky, although it has some advantages.
Here are the differences between cutting cookies before and after baking.
- You’ll have cookie dough that you can use to make extra cookie batches.
- You won’t struggle with broken cookies that are too hard to cut.
- You can overcome any mistakes, as you can knead the dough one more time to make more shapes.
- You’ll save time and effort while prepping your cookies for baking.
- You can have leftover cookies that can be used to make cookie balls and milkshakes.
You can cut gingerbread cookies using cookie cutters. But if you have no access to cutters, you can use a drinking gas, tin can, pizza cutter, or knife to make different shapes.
Cutting cookies before baking is easy because you can guarantee they’ll turn out how you want them to be.
If you wait until the cookies are fully baked and cooled down, they will be more challenging to cut. But you’ll have enough cookies leftovers that you can use for other recipes.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.