Refrigerator cookies have several advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are obvious. You can make them up, clean up the mess and then a day or two later you can slice and bake them, making as small a batch as you would like, and the only mess to clean up is the plate!
The disadvantages are that they are a little hard to handle in my opinion. Refrigerator cookies are generally rolled up into rolls, but, they can also be shaped into squares, rectangles, or triangles. However, this is a little harder said than done.
The other disadvantage that they have, is that they tend to end up not as pretty as cut out cookies and not as easy to bake because it is difficult to cut out the cookies so that they all have the same thickness.
There are some tricks and tips that help control the negatives. Most recipes will instruct to form the dough into a roll, etc., right away.
However, I have found that:
- It is easier to shape refrigerator cookies if the dough is chilled for 20-30 minutes prior to doing so.
- Once the cookies are shaped and in the refrigerator, check on them every 10 minutes or so, turning the dough so that it will not lose its shape. That is, if a cookie dough is shaped as a roll, take the roll out, roll it on the counter a few times to get it nice and round in diameter. If a cookie dough is supposed to be rectangular, make sure that the sides have not bulged out but are still nice and straight.
Once I am ready to slice and bake the cookies my frustration has been that I have a hard time cutting the dough uniformly. Furthermore, although I try to make sure that my knife goes down 1/8, or ¼ inch apart, invariably the top is fine but the knife seems to slip down at an angle. To counteract this sort of problem, a suggestion is to:
- Turn the dough slightly each time you cut into it when you are dealing with a log.
- Turn the dough over each time you cut into it if you are dealing with straight edge dough.