Kitchen tips - How to make cooking easier to you

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
Tip: How to Soften Butter Quickly


Many baking recipes call for “softened” butter, or room temperature butter. The reason for using softened butter is that you want to beat the butter (also called “creaming the butter”), either with sugar or without, and it’s very hard to beat a cold stick of butter.

The best thing to do to soften your butter is to put it out on the kitchen counter for an hour before you have to use it. But sometimes we don’t think that far ahead. One popular solution is to put the cold butter in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds. The problem with microwaving butter is that the microwave can heat the butter unevenly, and tends to over-soften or even melt the butter in places. You want pliable butter for beating, not almost melting butter.

Here’s a simple trick to soften butter quickly using some wax paper and a rolling pin.


Just put the stick of butter between two large pieces of wax paper. Using a rolling pin, press down on the butter. Roll it out they way you would roll out a pie crust. When the butter is about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick, lift off the wax paper and peel away the butter (before it gets too soft to peel).

Voilà! Softened butter, ready for beating.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
How to Boil and Eat Lobster

  • Cook time: 15 minutes
If you end up with leftover cooked lobster meat, chop it up, mix in with mayo, and serve with lettuce on a buttered and toasted hot dog bun to make a lobster roll.


  • Live lobsters, 1 per person
  • A large pot of salted water
  • Butter
  • Bread for dipping into the lobster-infused butter (optional)


How to Boil Lobster


First consider the size of your pot for boiling the lobsters. An 8-quart pot will easily take one lobster, a 16-quart pot, 2 or 3 lobsters. If you are cooking a lot of lobsters you'll either need to cook them in stages or have more than one pot of water boiling.

1 Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water. Add 2 Tbsp of salt for every quart of water. The water should be salty like sea water (in fact you can use clean sea water if you have it). Bring the water to a rapid boil.

2 Grasp the lobster by the body and lower it upside down and head first into the boiling water. Continue to add the live lobsters to the pot in this manner. Cover the pot.

3 Note the time at which the water comes to a boil again. From that point, boil the lobsters for 12-20 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the lobster. 12-15 minutes for 1 lb lobster, 15-20 minutes for a 1 1/2 pound lobster, 20-25 minutes for a 2-3 pound lobster. The lobsters should be a bright vivid red color when done.

Note that larger lobsters will turn bright red before they are completely finished cooking, so you do want to time your cooking, and not just go on color alone. Unlike with fresh scallops or fish that you can eat raw (think sashimi), you don't want to eat raw or undercooked lobster.

Translucent undercooked lobster meat really doesn't taste good. It needs to be opaque through and through. If you cook it too long, the meat will get rubbery, so keep an eye on the time.

4 Remove the lobsters from the pot with tongs and place on a plate to drain and cool.

How to Eat Lobster


Before you get started, you'll want to assemble some essentials. You'll need a nutcracker, a large bowl to hold the shells, a small dipping bowl for melted butter, and what's missing from the above photograph—a lot of napkins! Eating lobster is messy, you'll need them. There's a good reason they give diners plastic bibs at restaurants when serving lobster. You may also want to use some kitchen shears and nutpicks in addition to a nutcracker.

After the lobster comes out of the pot, let it cool for a few minutes, otherwise it will be too hot to handle.


Pull off the rubber bands from the claws, if they are still attached. Twist the claws away from the body at the joints that connect them to the body. Separate the knuckle from the claw.


Pull back the "jaw" of the claw until it breaks, but do it gently, so that the little bit of meat that is in the small part of the jaw stays attached to the rest of the meat (it's easier than trying to fish it out of the small shell).


Use a nut cracker to crack the main claw shell. Depending on the season and the size of your lobster, the shell may be easy or hard to crack with a nutcracker. If necessary you can take a mallet or hammer to it, but do it gently, just enough to break the shell without crushing the meat inside. Pull away the broken shell pieces and pull out the meat inside. Any white stuff attached to the meat is fat, which you can choose to eat or not. Dip into melted butter or not, and eat.


To extract the meat from the knuckles, use kitchen shears (if you have them) to cut the shell along its length. Pry open the shell where you made the cut and you can pull out all the knuckle meat in one piece. Alternately, you can crack each section of knuckle with a nutcracker and pull the meat out in chunks.

If you have a very large lobster, you can eat the legs. Get to the meat from the legs in a way similar to pulling off the “jaw” of the claw. Bend the joints of the legs the “wrong” way, which breaks them. You should have a piece of meat attached. Simply bite this off, leaving a thin piece of cartilage attached to the rest of the leg.


Now on to the lobster tail, where the biggest piece of meat lies. You'll need both hands to get the meat from the tail. Grip the lobster's body with one hand and the tail with the other. Bend the tail back away from the body to separate it from the body.

You will see one, and maybe two, odd things inside. You’ll see the greenish “tomalley,” which is the lobster’s liver. You can choose to eat it or not. Some people spread it on toast or add it to lobster soups or sauces. If the lobster is a female, you may also see the bright red “coral,” which is the roe of the lobster. You may also choose to eat this or not. The coral can be spread on toast as well, or used to add flavor to lobster bisque.


The tail will now look like a really big shrimp. Grab the flippers at the end of the tail and bend them backwards gently. If you do it right, you’ll get the meat from the inside of one or more flippers. This is uncommonly sweet meat, so don’t forget the morsels in the flippers! You can pry them out by working the little joints back and forth, or use shears to cut their thin shells.


With the flippers off the tail, you can now just put your finger through the small opening where the flippers were and push the tail meat out in one piece. If you have an exceptionally large lobster, use kitchen shears to cut a line down the underside of the tail to help remove the meat.


Before you eat the tail, pull the top of it off. This will reveal a digestive vein which you will likely want to remove, much like deveining a shrimp. It won't hurt you if you eat it, but it is the digestive tract of the lobster.

There is meat inside the body of the lobster, mostly right around where you pulled off the tail. For lobsters bigger than 2 pounds it is worth it to fish around for these extra morsels.

There you go! Now just dip in melted butter (or not) and eat. If you have crusty bread, it tastes great dipped in the lobster-infused butter as well.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
How to Make Chicken Stock



Method 1. Leftover Chicken Bones

  • Leftover bones and skin from a cooked or raw chicken carcass
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Carrot
  • Parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
1 Put the leftover bones and skin from a chicken carcass into a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add veggies like celery, onion, carrots, parsley. Add salt and pepper, about a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper.

2 Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to barely a simmer. Simmer uncovered at least 4 hours, occassionally skimming off the foam that comes to the surface.

3 Remove the bones and strain the stock.

4 If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by simmering a few hours longer to make it more concentrated and easier to store.

Method 2. Chicken backs, wings, and legs.

  • 4 lbs of chicken backs, wings, and/or legs that have been hacked with a cleaver into 2-inch pieces. You can ask your butcher to prepare the chicken pieces this way.
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped.
  • Olive oil
  • 2 quarts of boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 bay leaves


1 Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large stock pot. Add one chopped onion. Sauté until softened and slightly colored - 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.


2 Add half of the chicken pieces to the pot. Sauté until no longer pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to bowl with onions. Sauté the rest of the chicken the same way. Return onion and chicken pieces to the pot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes.

3 While the chicken pieces are cooking, fill a large tea kettle with 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil.


4 After the chicken pieces have been cooking for 20 minutes, raise the heat level to high, add the 2 quarts of boiling water, 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 bay leaves. Return to a low simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, then cover and barely simmer for about 20 minutes.


5 Strain stock through cheesecloth or paper towel-lined large sieve, and discard solids. (It helps to remove the big pieces of bone with a slotted spoon first.)

Pour into jars and let cool, before putting into the refrigerator. Stock will last a week or so in the refrigerator or frozen for several months.

Yield: Makes about 2 quarts of stock.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
How to Make Vegetable Stock


  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
Feel free to use the onion skins, they'll add flavor and a lovely caramel color to the stock. If parsnips are available, you can sub out some of the carrots with chopped parsnips for more flavor.


  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms*
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 3 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped fennel bulb (optional)
  • Salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed (can leave skins on)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
*If you want to use fresh mushrooms instead, use about 5-6 ounces, thickly slice them, and dry sauté them first in a separate pan, until they are lightly browned and have given up some of their moisture. Then add in with the rest of the vegetables.


1 Place the dried mushrooms in a large bowl and pour 1 quart of boiling water over them. Set aside.


2 Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large stockpot. Add the chopped onions, celery, carrots, and fennel (if using) and stir to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Cook over high heat for several minutes, stirring only occasionally. Given that there are so many vegetables, and they have a high moisture content, it may take more heat and longer time to brown than you would expect. Cook until the vegetables begin to brown.


3 Add the garlic and tomato paste and stir to combine.Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomato paste begins to turn a rusty color. Add the mushrooms and their soaking water, the rosemary, thyme, onion skins if using, peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley and 4 additional quarts of water. Bring to a simmer and then drop the heat until you just get a bare simmer. The surface of the stock should just barely be bubbling. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.


4 Using a spider skimmer or slotted spoon, remove all the big pieces of vegetable and mushroom. Discard or compost. Set up a large bowl or pot with a sieve set over it. Line the sieve with a paper towel and pour the stock through it. When you have about half the stock poured through, stop, let what's in the strainer filter through, and change the paper towel; the old one will be gunked up with debris. Filter the rest of the stock.

To store, pour into glass jars and refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze. If you freeze in glass jars, leave at least an inch and a half of headroom so the stock can expand without breaking the glass of the jar.

Yield: Makes about 5 quarts.


Smile for Allah

MashaAllah, this thread is full of great tips - thanks to our very own chef Sister Harb. :)

I've had a book for quite a long time (It must be 10-15 years old). It's the "Better Homes and Gardens CookBook" and most of these tips are in there, with pictures. There's a lot of stuff I've learned from that book, so if anyone is in the US, please look up that book if you are serious to learn cooking. It's great and has all basic food recipes to be made from scratch - starting off from how to fry or boil eggs to very advanced dishes.

One other good tip which I've used personally is always to keep a diary when learning to cook. The first time you watch someone in your family cook something, write it all down, the ingredients, the cooking times, method, everything. And next time you want to try and make the dish, open up your diary and follow along. This is how I learned cooking - I have everything written down and its been a great help - this way I don't get confused over which ingredients go in which dish, and its fast and easy when I have to make something after a long time and have most likely forgotten how to do it.


Junior Member
Your kitchen tips are good :)

Can I add one?
When you cut an onion sometimes onion have rotten layers inside. When you cut onion on half, you see which layers are rotten and it's very simple to remove skin. You can't make onion rings, but for chopped onion it's good.


فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ
I've had a book for quite a long time (It must be 10-15 years old). It's the "Better Homes and Gardens CookBook" and most of these tips are in there, with pictures. There's a lot of stuff I've learned from that book, so if anyone is in the US, please look up that book if you are serious to learn cooking. It's great and has all basic food recipes to be made from scratch - starting off from how to fry or boil eggs to very advanced dishes.

Heya sis, that's actually an award-winning Australian programme, with the magazines also making stock piles at the supermarkets. But I'm sure your suggestion is in place, and it's interesting you've got it all the way over on your end. You're right, they're great 101's, but with that show, more of my attention is dedicated to home renovations and DIY's in interior design. They're so quick and enthusiastic, makes you want to achieve the same results in seconds. This goes for their cooking too ... Though the last time I watched an episode would have honestly been years ago.

sister herb, that palm trick is so cool, though I've always went by the touch, but now I'll be a lil more sure, thanks!

Seeking Peace

Junior Member
Assalam-o-Alaikum Sister...

aww lovely tips...i love cooking and some of above mentioned tips are really great to know...JazakAllah-o-Khair little you for the sake of Allah S.W.T...


sister herb

Official TTI Chef
The basics of pickling

When making pickles, it is important to follow the recipe you are using closesly. This is not only to insure food safety, but the taste of the food as well. No matter what pickles you are making, there are a few simple rules you should follow to make sure that your pickles turn out to be a crispy, tangy, tasty treat!

  • Use uniform produce. Your pickles will process more evenly and pack better.
  • Scrub your vegetables well, and be sure and remove all of the blossom end by slicing it off. An enzyme in the blossom can cause spoilage or soggy pickles.
  • Pack the cucumbers or vegetables snuggly in the jar to allow for full movement of the liquid. You want to fit as many cucumbers as possible, as they will normally shrink as they become pickled.
  • Keep your jar rims clean and dry for a great seal. Do not screw the ring on too tightly, or the seal could becomd compromised.
  • Process according to the instructions, and don’t forget to alter for higher altitudes.
  • Label your jars, and store them in a cool dry place- and don’t forget to keep a jar out for eating!
  • Remember to let fresh-pack pickles ‘ripen’ for a week or two, so their flavor fully develops before eating.
Here is a basic step by step procedure to pickling your pickles. Each recipe will vary however, so do not use this for your pickle recipes unless specified. This is just to give you an idea of the pickling procedure.
1) Pick the firmest cucumbers available for your pickling batch.
2) Decide on which recipe you will use.
3) Clean and rinse your cucumbers to prepare for pickling.
4) Mix ingredients of your brine, the most common of which will be vinegar, water, and salt.
5) Bring your brine to a boil.
6) Pack your cucumbers into canning jars with additional ingredients, as specified by the recipe.
7) Once brine has been brought to a boil, poor into the canning jars, over the top of the cucumbers.
8) Put in any additional pickle ingredients, as specified by the recipe.
9) Seal canning jars with desired method.
10) Place in cool dry place for several weeks to allow pickling to occur.
11) Enjoy your fresh homemade pickles!
Again, this is just a generic procedure and should not be followed exactly for any of your recipes unless this is exactly what the recipe calls for.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
For pickling:

How to Sterilize Bottles and Jars for Preserves

For hundreds of years people have been preserving fruit and vegetables by "jamming" them. Preserves will keep for a long time if properly prepared and bottled, but the bottles and jars used must be sterilized.

Step 1

Gather together the jars and their lids and check that all the lids fit snugly so that no air can get in once the lid is screwed down. If your bottles have rubber seals, make sure that these have not perished.

Step 2

Wash the bottles and lids thoroughly. They must be scrupulously clean.

Step 3

Note that before you make your preserve, you need to place the bottles and jars upside down in a cold oven and then heat to 160 degrees celsius. Once the oven has reached this temperature, turn off the heat.

Step 4

Sterilize the lids by boiling them in water for 10 minutes. You can also sterilize bottles this way. Leave the lids/bottles in the water until you are ready to use them.

Step 5

Remember once the preserve is in the bottles, lift the lids out using a pair of tongs and dry them off.


sister herb

Official TTI Chef
How to Chop Onions without Tears
  1. Clean the onion.
  2. Place the onion in the freezer for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Take the onion out of the freezer, and slice, dice, or chop your onion straightaway.
Freezing the onion reduces the fumes, and also gives it a slightly crisper texture, so processing is easier.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
How to make: Chicken Stock



Nothing beats homemade chicken stock for soups, stews, and sauces. Next time you roast a chicken, save the bones for stock, or purchase backs and legs for this recipe.

What You'll Need

  • 5 pounds chicken bones
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thirds
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into thirds
  • 2 large or 4 small leeks, cut in half lengthwise and washed well
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 12 whole black peppercorns


Step 1
In a 3-gallon stockpot, combine all ingredients and fill with enough cold water to cover everything by 3 inches when submerged (about 6 quarts). If you don't have a large stockpot, use two smaller pots.


Step 2
Bring to a rapid simmer over high (do not boil); reduce heat until bubbles barely break the surface. Simmer until flavorful, about 2 hours, skimming stock with a ladle every 30 minutes. Keep the stock at a bare simmer; a hard boil would evaporate too much liquid and make the stock cloudy. Any fat that remains after skimming can be easily removed once the stock is chilled.


Step 3
Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard vegetables. Remove any meat from bones and save for another use; discard bones. Let stock cool completely before refrigerating. (To store, refrigerate, up to 1 week, or freeze, up to 6 months.)

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
How to Make Creme Fraiche (French style cream)


1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
  1. Add buttermilk and whipping cream to a glass jar and shake vigorously for about one minute.
  2. Cover tightly with a lid and leave at room temperature for 12-20 hours.
  3. Open and check for a thick consistency, then refrigerate immediately. Keeps for about 5-7 days in the refrigerator.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
8 Common cooking mistakes

Mistake # 1: You don’t read the recipe in its entirety

The result: If a recipe is read in bits and pieces, it’s
very easy to miss an ingredient or step. Either will
lead to a culinary disaster.

How to correct it:

Simple – read the recipe from top to bottom to ensure
that you have all the ingredients and are familiar with
each step. It could also be worth your while to check
that all the listed ingredients appear in the recipe.

Mistake # 2: You cook meat straight from the fridge

The result: The meat cooks unevenly, with the inside
still rare or raw by the time the outside is done. By the
time the inside is cooked, the outside will be

How to correct it:

Defrost meat by moving it from the freezer to the
fridge. Once it’s defrosted, let it sit at room
temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. This goes for red
meat as well as chicken.

Mistake # 3: You do everything with one type of oil

The result: The oil loses its taste, starts to smoke
when it gets too hot or infuses food with its flavours.

How to correct it:

Not all oils are created equally.
While some can handle heat well, others are more
suited to be used uncooked.

Olive oil, despite its popularity, is actually not the best
oil to cook with. It works much better as a salad

Coconut oil, on the other hand, is perfect to cook with
as it can withstand high heats. To add Asian flavours
to your food, get sesame oil for your kitchen

Mistake # 4: You don’t let the pan get hot enough
before adding the food

The result: Food that sticks to the pan and pale pieces
of meat.

How to correct it:

Don’t rush the process. Heat your pan or pot for a
good couple of minutes before adding the oil and
food. This will ensure that veggies are sautéed
properly, that chicken and steak get nice and brown
and that nothing sticks to the cookware.

Mistake # 5: You turn the food too often

The result: The food doesn’t sear or brown and it
sticks to the pan. If you’re doing crumbed chicken
breasts, the crumbs don’t stick.

How to correct it:

You just have to be patient; even when you’re in a
hurry. To test whether the meat or chicken is ready to
be turned, try to lift it with a spatula. If the spatula
doesn’t easily slide under the piece of meat, it’s not
ready to be turned.

Mistake # 6: You overcrowd the pot or pan

The result: Soggy meat that refuses to brown.

How to correct it:

If you have quite a bit of meat to cook, split it over two
pots or pans. There has to be spaces between the
pieces of meat so that moisture can escape. If the
steam has no place to go, it ‘sits’ on the meat. It’s this
that causes the meat to be soggy.

Mistake # 7: You boil instead of simmer

The result: Meat that is tough and dry

How to correct it:

Learn the difference between simmering and boiling,
and then stick to what the recipe says. Simmering is
when bubbles comes to the surface every second or
two; boiling is when the water is bubbling rapidly.

Mistake # 8: You don’t taste as you go

The result: A dish that just doesn’t taste right.

How to correct it:

Taste to your heart’s content! You might want to add
more salt or sugar to a meal than what was
prescribed in the recipe. Or perhaps an ingredient is
off. The only way you’ll discover any of this is by
sampling your dish.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
Cookies, cookies, cookies...

Tips for No-Fail Cookies
Whether you are an old hand at baking or new to the craft, these tips and suggestions will make all the difference in your success.

Before You Begin
Assemble all the ingredients and tools needed before starting. Read the recipe through to get a sense of the processes and techniques involved. Using an oven thermometer, check your oven's temperature for accuracy.

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  • Baking Sheets
    Have a baking sheet at room temperature before placing dough on it; a warmer pan will melt the dough, causing cookies to run into one another. Run tepid water over the bottom of the baking sheet to cool it between batches of cookies.

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  • Butter
    Buy the best ingredients you can afford. The most important ingredient in most cookie recipes is butter. Use fresh, unsalted butter sticks for easy measure. Before you use it, bring butter to room temperature unless the recipe directs otherwise.

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  • Other Ingredients
    Eggs: Use fresh large white or brown eggs at room temperature. Cold eggs separate best, but after you separate them, bring them to room temperature so they will blend better with other ingredients.
    Flour: We use unbleached all-purpose flour in most of our cookie recipes; unless the recipe specifies, do not substitute another kind.
    Baking Soda and Baking Powder: Baking soda and powder are not interchangeable. However, you can substitute baking soda plus a little acid (usually cream of tartar) for baking powder.
    Salt: Table salt is the default choice for baking; use kosher or other coarse salt only when specified.
    Sugar: Most of our recipes call for granulated white sugar; use other kinds of sugar only when specified. Brown sugar is usually firmly packed into measuring cups for accurate measures. Sift confectioners' sugar before measuring, to remove lumps.
Measuring Cups
For greatest accuracy, use measuring cups, preferably metal, for dry and semisolid (peanut butter, jam, shortening, and such) ingredients. Scoop the ingredient into the cup and then level it with a straight-edge. Use the right size cup. (Never estimate portions.)

Liquid Measuring Cups
A liquid measure is essential for accuracy; place the cup on a work surface as you pour, and bend down to read so the marks are at eye level.


No-Stick Cookies
Use either parchment paper or nonstick baking mats to make removing cookies from the baking pan easy.


Cooling Rack
Most often made of heavy-duty wire, cooling racks allow air to circulate around cookies after they are removed from the oven.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
Cookie techniques

Techniques to ensure perfect drop, shaped, icebox, or rolled cookies.


Drop Cookies
Before dropping dough, make sure it's slightly firm. If it's too soft and sticky, chill in the refrigerator briefly.

Forming Drop Cookies
An ice cream scoop makes quick work of forming drop cookies and ensures even results. Be sure to use the scoop size the recipe calls for. As an alternative, two tablespoons will do the trick.


Spacing Drop Cookies
To ensure cookies remain separate and nicely shaped, follow the guidelines given in a recipe for spacing mounds of dough on the baking sheet.


Freezing Drop Cookies
You can freeze unbaked mounds of cookie dough on baking sheets, then transfer to resealable freezer bags or airtight containers for up to one month. There's no need to defrost; just bake as directed in the recipe, adding a couple minutes to the baking time.


Shaped Cookies
Use a small ice cream scoop to make sure that each portion is the same size.


Keep Hands Cold
Warm palms can cause butter-rich dough to melt. Keep a bowl of ice water nearby. If dough gets too soft, dip hands in the cold liquid, dry them, and continue shaping.


Freezing Dough for Shaped Cookies
Place dough balls on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen; then transfer to a resealable bag. To make cookies, thaw, then shape, and bake according to recipe instructions.


Icebox Cookies
Start by forming the dough into a rough log shape on a sheet of parchment paper. Place the dough off center; fold parchment paper over the dough. Push with a ruler to mold the wrapped dough into a narrow cylinder about the diameter of a paper-towel tube.


Chilling Dough for Icebox Cookies
Slip the parchment-wrapped rolled dough into an empty paper-towel tube to maintain its shape as it chills. Refrigerate at least three hours, until very firm. Store in the refrigerator or freezer, if desired.


Perfectly Shaped Icebox Cookies
To prevent cookies from getting misshapen, rotate dough as you cut off slices for cookies.


Rolled Cookies
Cookie dough that is rolled between two sheets of parchment paper won't stick to the work surface or rolling pin and is easy to transport back and forth from the refrigerator or freezer to chill.


Tips for Rolled Cookies
For easy release, dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting. When moving shapes, pull scraps away so you can maneuver the spatula without damaging edges.