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What are Rolled Cookies?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 16, 2024
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Rolled cookies are a type of cookies prepared from a dense cookie dough that is rolled out flat onto a counter, and cut into the desired shapes. There are many different recipes for rolled cookies, but they are especially popular for the holiday season because they can be made into shapes like gingerbread men. These types of cookies can also make great gifts.

A simple rolled cookies recipe might just include ingredients such as sugar, flour, butter, eggs, salt, vanilla, and and baking powder; search online for the measurements, but these are the items that are generally included in a simple sugar cookie recipe. Other ingredients such as chocolate, mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or nuts may be added for extra flavor, of the cookies may be iced or covered with powdered sugar, colored granulated sugars, or small candies after they are made for decoration.

It is important to refrigerate the dough before attempting to create rolled cookies. Generally, most recipes only require the dough to be refrigerated for approximately half an hour, but some recipes might require longer refrigeration, so be sure to follow the directions. The refrigeration process ensures that the dough is stiff enough to be rolled out and cut into shapes without falling apart.

When the dough for the rolled cookies is rolled out on the counter, be sure to place wax paper or a layer of flour down first to prevent it from sticking. It is important to roll the dough so it is thin and flat, so that each individual cookie will be the same thickness. This helps to make sure that the cookies will bake properly, and that some will not be burned or undercooked when they come out of the oven. Once the dough is rolled out, a cookie cutter may be used to cut shapes from the dough.

Try to maximize the amount of dough that is available, and make as many cookies as possible. It is not necessary to make all cookies the same shape; in fact, creating cookies with a number of different shapes can be great if one plans to give the cookies as gifts. Aside from holiday shapes, one might be able to find cookie cutters in the shape of stars, birthday items, or animals, for example. Of course, cookies may simply be cut into standard circle shapes as well. It is entirely a matter of personal preference.

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Discussion Comments
By OeKc05 — On Jul 21, 2011

I love decorating my rolled Christmas sugar cookies with chocolate nonpareils. I love the kind with the hint of mint. Sometimes I will even dye the dough light green to add to the effect.

I mix up the basic sugar cookie dough recipe. I freeze it for an hour, and then I transfer the dough to the refrigerator for thirty minutes. I find that this shortens the time I would have to wait if I just refrigerated the dough.

Once I roll it out, I use a variety of cookie cutters to make shapes. Candy canes shapes complement the mint flavor, as do leaves and snowmen. I press the chocolate mint nonpareils gently into the dough, leaving only a few centimeters between each one. I like maximum flavor in my cookies, so I try not to leave much empty space.

By shell4life — On Jul 20, 2011

My favorite autumn cookie is a rolled oats cookie. I make a lot of them at one time, because they go quickly around my house. My recipe makes 48.

I preheat my oven to 375 degrees. On medium heat, I lightly brown 3/4 cup of butter. Then, I add two and one-thirds cups of rolled oats and saute while stirring for about 5 minutes until they turn golden. I then take them off of the eye to cool.

I sift one-half cup of self-rising flour with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. In a big bowl, I mix one cup of light brown sugar, one egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla with a mixer until well blended. Then, I stir in the flour mixture and rolled oats.

Though most people drop the dough by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet, I prefer to refrigerate my dough and cut the cookies out with scalloped or leaf and pumpkin cookie cutters. I bake them for about 12 minutes until they turn a golden color.

By lighth0se33 — On Jul 19, 2011

I love making cinnamon roll cookies for breakfast. The recipe I use includes the main ingredients in a sugar cookie. The difference is that the sugar and cinnamon are spread on top of the dough rather than mixed into it.

After making the basic dough, I refrigerate it for an hour. Then, I flour wax paper and roll it out kind of thin, because I will have to roll it back up once I coat it. I apply melted butter with a pastry brush. This gives the sugar and cinnamon, which I sprinkle on next, something to stick to.

Next, I roll the dough up tightly into a spiral. I take a sharp knife and cut cookies about one-half inch thick from one end of the dough roll to the other. I cook these at 350 degrees until they are golden brown. Then, I make a glaze out of powdered sugar and milk and pour it on them while they are still warm.

By StarJo — On Jul 18, 2011

My favorite type of Christmas cookies are linzer cookies. These rolled cookies have just a hint of sweetness in the dough. The main source of sweet taste is provided by the raspberry jam you place in between the cookies after they are done.

I put some pecans in a food processor to chop them to dust and roll them into the buttery dough. This nutty flavor gives the cookies their identity. The dough must be refrigerated for two hours before it can be rolled out and cut.

I like using a large Christmas tree cookie cutter for the outer edge and an identical but smaller one for the inner hole. Half of the cookies must have holes cut in them, and half must remain solid pieces. The holes exist so that the jam you spread between the cookies can show through.

By Ivan83 — On Jul 18, 2011

Another great thing about rolled cookies is that the dough can be frozen and saved for later. I have sugar cookie dough in my freezer that I made several months ago and once it thaws out it will make another batch of delicious cookies.

The dough doesn't last forever but it will keep for a few months and then you can have cookies anytime you like. You can also make batches according to your needs. If you end up with more dough than you would like to use just save it for later. Your cookie eating life will never be the same.

By gravois — On Jul 17, 2011

My family used to make rolled cookies a lot but we were always at a loss for what to do with the extra dough. One day my dad came up with the idea of mixing the dough back up and then rolling it out again. He would cut the dough into thin strips and then we would make pictures and words on a dedicated cookie sheet. Sometimes we would spell out our names or try and make pictures of each other. We were young and not especially good artists but it was always great fun. How many people have made a picture of their mom using cookies?

By summing — On Jul 16, 2011

A big part of my families Christmas tradition involved making rolled sugar cookies from scratch and then cutting them out into all kinds of holiday themed shapes.

My mom would make the dough and roll it out into a huge sheet on the island in our kitchen. Then all of us kids would gather around and start mashing cookie cutters into the dough at random. At first we would be careless and end up with a lot of mutant Christmas trees and half candy canes. But my mom would calm us down and then we would start making cookies that actually looked like what they were supposed to be.

After baking we would reconvene to decorate them. This was usually a pretty messy process but us kids loved it. There would be icing and sprinkles and little candy treats everywhere but we always ended up with huge batch of cookies that was eaten up by the end of Christmas day. I haven't done this for year now that I am an adult but maybe it is time to start again.

By truman12 — On Jul 15, 2011

I absolutely love rolled cookies because they allow you to combine so many interesting flavors and ingredients. They also allow for unusual combinations of colors and textures. I have seen rolled cookies that looked like they came from Mars. The sky is really the limit with this type of cookie. Start tinkering around and you will be surprised with all the combinations you can come up with.

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