Cookie Baking & Decorating Tips & Ideas


Cookie Baking and Decorating

Tips & Ideas 

From Our Customers
Answers to Baking Questions



Happy Baking!


NEW! Decorate PASTA with cookie stamps!
7/19/13 Email
Thank you so much. My daughter and I love your cookie stamps. We are using them for not only cookies, but artisan pasta. We make corzetti coins with them. You cut the circles of dough out and then place between two stamps and press. You get a nice coin which you cook in boiling water and then place into pasta dishes. You can add mushrooms or veggies and drizzle sauce over them. They are a lot of fun for adults as well as children.

I ordered the Birthday Cake and Balloons stamps to do birthday corzetti coins. One side will be the birthday cake and the other the balloons. Imagine your birthday dinner of pasta and then cookies and cupcakes to match. Should make you feel special.

You can also stamp the dough for ravioli or any other pasta that has a large enough surface. Lots of fun.

We are thinking about using some of the religious stamps to do pasta for church dinner.

Jan D
Greensboro, North Carolina




8/7/14 Reply

Thanks for the tips.

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8/6/14 Email

I don't use any baking soda or powder because it just raises too much. I underbake, and let continue to bake on cookie sheet out of oven... the design becomes more defined as cookies sink and cool. Hot oven at least 400. Convection helps cook the top faster so it seals the design.

(Lin Sue)

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8/6/14 Reply

I understand. If you have any tips for us on how to keep the designs from melting away in the oven, please pass them along. I would totally appreciate any help you could give. The coupon code to use when you place your next order is: ....  for $10.00 off the total.

Thanks again,

Carol

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8/6/14 Email

I own a dessert business with my best friend... and it is what we use... so I'm sorry I am not able to.


(Lin Sue)
www.Sweet-Stops.com

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8/6/14 Reply

Dear Lin Sue,

Thank you for your prompt response. Would you mind sharing your family's shortbread recipe?

Carol

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8/6/14 Form: Cookie Photo Submission

I did not use a Rycraft recipe. I used my family's shortbread recipe. I have been using this recipe for years and years. for parties, gifts... we love cookies.

Love the designs... would like prettier monogram stamps.

Thanks again.

Lin Sue C

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8/6/14 Reply

Dear Lin Sue,

Thank you so much for the wonderful photograph of your cookies. I am so happy they turned out so beautifully for you. How did they taste? What recipe did you use?

If you will fill out this form [link below], I will give you a coupon worth $10.00 off your next order:

https://www.storesonlinepro.com/store/3251561/form_to_submit_cookie_pix?sitecookie=a259db9ec4a6a83fc0020883d4bb1b04

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Carol Rycraft

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8/5/14 Email

Just received my cookie stamp order and couldn't wait to try them! They turned out beautifully... thanks for a fabulous product!

Lin Sue C
Phoenix, Arizona



4/2/14 Reply

Dear Nancy,

Thank you for your comment and question in your February 27th email. Please forgive me for not writing back sooner.

I think the most popular recipe by far is Robin's mom's Almond Butter Cookie recipe found in our recipe booklet:

http://www.cookiestamp.com/*almond_butter_cookies

I am sorry you have had difficulty with the designs melting away in the oven. That has become a common problem in the last 20 years or so as the flours, butters, and other products have chan ged significantly in content... so there are ore variables involved which make baking a challenge. However, we have lots of comments and suggestions on these pages:

http://www.cookiestamp.com/recipes_table

http://www.cookiestamp.com/cookie_baking_tips

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Carol Rycraft

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2/27/14 Email

You have so many recipes. I would love to know your favorite. Sometimes I have a hard time making your lovely imprints stay after they are baked.

Nancy S
Hudson, Ohio


TIP:  FREEZING COOKIES
"Hi Donna,
Thank you for your email. Yes you can freeze them for up to 6 months (possibly longer) between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container or in layers in baggies. Be sure they are completely cool, then refrigerate to cool them down even more, then freeze. Some people prefer to put the cooled cookies in the freezer (on the cooling rack or a cookie sheet) for an hour or so, and then put in the containers after they're frozen hard and won't crumble. We've done it both ways and they come out fine. We used to take dozens of cookies to the trade shows, and we'd bake them months in advance and freeze in tupperware. We had to transport them from OR to SFO or Las Vegas and so we would put paper towels inside the tupperware between the layers to cushion the cookies. The paper towels will absorb a little of the butter from the cookies. The cookies were always delicious and tasted fresh months later when we opened them. They were a hit at the shows. We hope yours are a hit too! Feel free to contact us any time with your questions. Best regards,"
Carol Rycraft
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"I am baking your recipe for cookie stamp shortbread which are delicious. I will be freezing them for 1 month. Will they be OK?  Thanks,"
Donna S

From emails exchanged 10/7 and 10/8/10.



TIP:  BET ON BUTTER
Start with the right stuff. Use only butter or margarine that comes in sticks; don't use whipped, reduced-fat or tub products. Read the label to be sure the butter or margarine contains at least 80 percent fat; any less means there's a higher percentage of water, which is not recommended for baking. Printed measurements on stocks of butter make measuring easy and convenient. 

From an undated  magazine clipping sent in by a customer



TIP: Use Land O'Lakes Margarine instead of BUTTER

To prevent cookie designs from melting away in the oven, and if you cannot find a high-fat-content butter (one with as little water in it as possible), try using Land O' Lakes Margarine which has NO water and has good flavor.

Tip from a customer who phoned us 9/09.




TIP: Use vegetable spray instead of vegetable oil to season stamps.

Spray Pam® on each stamp and blot with a paper towel before each use. 


From Rita 4/28/04



Recipe problems:

1. The Rycraft recipe booklet that has 3 cups of flour instead of 4 cups for Mrs Rycraft's Cookie Stamp Shortbread has a type here - 3 cups doesn't work - less flour makes designs melt away in the oven.
        NOTE from Rycraft:  Mary Ellen is right. We have since fixed the typo re: the flour and the recipe now reads 4 cups. 

2. Tip: It works well to put cookie stamp into sugar BEFORE stamping cookies.



7/22/96 from Mary Ellen Bryden, Charleston, IL  (She has been baking our cookies for years – gives them as gifts)



She bakes & gives cookies as gifts; most popular cookies are:
        Mrs. Rycraft's Almond Butter Cookies
        Mrs Rycraft's Brown Sugar Shortbread

Re: The JELLO COOKIES RECIPE:   They present the most problems:
            Problem:  Dough (chilled or not) sticks to stamp.
            Solution:  Roll balls of dough in sugar. Also dip stamp in sugar before stamping the dough.

            Problem:  Cookies stick to baking sheet.
            Solution:  Need to use greased baking sheets and loosen cookies shortly after removing from oven.



From Jane Decker, Tucson, AZ – no date  (collector – has stamps from 70’s & square cs)



When you use a cookie stamp, the dough should  be well-chilled, but the stamp itself should be warm. This helps prevent sticking.

When you experiment, remember that baking soda and powder make cookies rise as they bake. This will blur the design.



From a magazine clipping – no date, by Mary Ryder, c/o Daily commercial, Leesburg, FL 



Many years ago I purchased a shortbread press [cookie stamp] from the Canadian Craft council’s store Quest For Handcrafts in Victoria BC (long since gone). Their suggestion was to roll the dough in 1-inch-wide, long rolls and cut in 3/4- to 1-inch pieces. Place cut side on baking sheet and use cookie stamp. Really quick and a time saver. Less messy also. I’ve made the refinement of chilling the dough slightly before the cutting but not until it is stiff. If I’m in a hurry, I put a baking sheet of pressed but unchilled cookies in the freezer for a few minutes. Then bake and have a more distinct design.

P.S. My favorite is the brown sugar shortbread – receive raves each time they’re served.”



4/15/97 from Lucetta Walker (Mrs Richard J) – from Norway (made trip in 97)


Make sure you press the cookie stamp into the cookie dough hard enough to make the impressions. Dust the cookie stamp with a bit of flour, then press into the dough. I have found that most roll-out doughs do take impressions fairly well. If you are using rubber stamps, make sure the rubber impressions are deep enough to make a good impression.

Remember that the edges of the cookie will generally crack from pressing the stamp into the dough, but not all of the time.




12/6/98 from Nancy Marshall


GREAT PARTY IDEA:  A COOKIE EXCHANGE

This year, try an old-time custom: Each person brings 4 dozen of the same type of cookies – 2 dozen to be set out on the dessert table, and 2 dozen boxed for the exchange. (Ask each baker to include copies of her recipe in the box.) Everyone gets a sampling of all the treats to take home.

GENERAL COOKIE BAKING TIPS:

Leave cookie sheets ungreased unless called for in the recipe or cookie dough may spread too much.

Let baking sheets COOL completely between batches of cookies. Otherwise, dough melts and spreads more than it should

Cookies stick when left on the baking sheet too long after taking them out of the oven. To unstuck them, put the sheet back in the hot oven for a minute.

Chill your rolling pin in the fridge before using; dough will roll out easily.

Don’t have time to do all your cookie baking in one day? Prepare the dough, stamp the balls of dough, or squares of dough, and cut out with cookie cutters (optional). Freeze the cutouts on layers of waxed paper in an air-tight container. When ready to bake, peel frozen shapes off the paper, place on cookie sheets and pop in the oven.

FOOD COLOR SHORTCUT

To tint frosting, candy or cookie dough without making a mess:
Place the mixtures in a zip-lock plastic bag. Add food coloring; remove air from bag and seal. Knead the bag until the color is evenly distributed. Since the dough is visible, it’s easy to add more food coloring until you have the shade you want. When you’re done, sniff off a corner of the plastic bag and squeeze out the mixture.



From a 1996 magazine clipping (edited):




Comments re: why designs melt away in the oven:

A possible solution to the problem of the cookies needing more gluten in the flour [so designs won't melt away in the oven] is to use bread flour. Bread flour has more gluten than regular flour.

12/3/97 from Helen O Alford, Roseburg, OR


Comments re: why designs melt away in the oven:

Re: Butter:
There has been a change in butters. Food merchandisers are changing a lot of the butters, adding a lot of water, perhaps as much as 1/3 of mass. The softness of the butter used shouldn’t make any difference. Look at package of butter for water content. Make sure it’s stick butter and not in a tub.

Re: gluten:
High gluten (bread flour) would work better.


2/1/98 from Tom Cochran – Science Dept, South Albany High School, Albany, OR


Comments re: why designs melt away in the oven:

To improve the shortbread so the stampings remain on the finished product the end-user may need to lower the moisture by cutting the fat content (shortening, butter or margarine) or increasing the flour to absorb more moisture. Also, powdered sugar may work better than granulated sugar.


1/3/97 from Steve Palo
MS 18W5
Pillsbury
200 South 6th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402-1464
Ph   612 330 5028
Fax 612 330 2352


Sift the flour. She uses all-purpose flour. Sifting gives less weight and more volume to the flour.


From Grace 1/29/99



Comments re: why designs melt away in the oven:

Use gluten to strengthen the dough’s ability to hold the design. Using 1 TBSP gluten for 1 c. butter and 2 c. flour is not too  much.


12/7/00 from Ann Buckhardt, The Land O’Lakes Holiday Bake Hotline, 800-782-9606

The cream cheese candy recipe was a huge success for the bake table at our annual church bazaar this past fall. People could not believe the candy was homemade with such an attractive design on each of the pieces. I used peppermint extract and green food coloring and mixed green and white candy pieces on each plate. This coming fall I plan to try chocolate mints using cocoa and peppermint extract.


2/16/94 from Mrs MaryElane Fritz, Boothwyn, PA

Yesterday I bought one of your cookie stamps (the rocking horse) at a small gift shop in Millville, NY I have never seen anything like it before. By the time I had been home an hour I had my first batch of brown sugar shortbread cookies in the oven. THEY ARE DELICIOUS! Then I made the unbelieveable peanut butter cookies. Today I did the cream cheese candy. Wonderful! Thank you!


12/10/93 from Marilyn Wittkowsky, N Tonawanda, NY 


I made Ginger Snaps with my cookie stamp and they turned out great! Thank you!

From Peri Greenberg, Kirkland, WA


To have your Melting Moments Shortbread *stay a beautiful white colour – bake at 250° F. for 1 hour. My mother always baked her shortbread in a very slow oven for an hour (a Scottish tradition).

* We use the same recipe except we use 1 cup butter.


From Jacklin Die Bold, Santa Barbara, CA


A HOMEMADE Idea: Tea Time Gift Basket

A gift basket is a thoughtful yet inexpensive gift for your friends, family and co-workers. Taking time to bake them cookies shows others how much you care about them.

Materials

A decorative basket from a crafts store.
Grass (like what's used in Easter egg baskets OR shredded paper in a variety of colors).
Large-sized mug (or 2 if this gift is for a couple).
Various flavored or herbal teas (for the tea basket) or
        a small bag of premium coffee (for the coffee basket).
One or more Rycraft stamps in designs to suit the occasion.
Melting Moments CookiesCream Cheese Candies, or Peppermint Cream Candies decorated with the cookie stamps.
One or more Rycraft cookie stamps (to match the cookies/candies you made) along with a Rycraft recipe booklet.

Instructions


Coffee & Cookies Basket:
Put candies inside of mug(s). Optional: wrap candies in cellophane or wrap mug in cellophane. 
Put your mug(s) inside a basket filled with grass or shredded paper.
Wrap a few cookies in cellophane, tie them with a ribbon, and place in basket alongside mug(s).
Put teas and/or coffee into basket.
Nestle cookie stamp and recipe booklet in grass.
Wrap entire package in cellophane paper or colored plastic wrap. 


Cookie Stamp and Cookies Basket:
Wrap 3 or 4 cookies in cellophane, and tie with ribbon. Make as many of these small packages as you like and nestle in grass in basket.
Put cookie stamp and recipe booklet in mug (2 stamps if 2 mugs).

From a loyal customer who phones. Not dated.


Stamped Candy Idea - anyone want to experiment?

“See if this (Modeling Candy) works with cookie stamps. Maybe powder the stamps with powdered sugar to prevent sticking? Try it rolled out as well as rolled in 1-inch or larger balls. Maybe cut out stamped designs with a knife or cookie cutter? Will it harden enough to hold the design?”

Recipe for Modeling Candy

A good-tasting pliable mixture for making roses and other interesting shapes.

1/2 pound Candy Melts™ confectionery coating (any color)*
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Candy Flavor (optional)

Melt Candy Melts™ according to package directions. Add heated light corn syrup and stir until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate until mixture is easy to handle, approximately 1 hour. Roll out mixture between sheets of waxed paper or knead and shape with fingers. Use cookie stamps to imprint designs. Optional: Cut out around designs with a knife or a cookie cutter. Attach your Modeling Candy decorations to molded candy (or a fondant-covered cake?) with dots of Royal Icing or melted coating.
*Made by Wilton
Idea from Sharon Reese; Source: Wilton First Annual bonus Pullout 1984 yearbook

Cookies for a Tea Party . . .

                                                
#495 - Tea Leaves

. . . & Cookies for Fund Raising!


                                                    #459 - The Ribbon

Dear Robin,

I wanted to thank you for your quick shipment of the stamps!!! They are wonderful!!! I also think the tea stamp is great. I have baked shortbreads already with the stamps and wanted to show you how they turned out! . . .  At this point I have baked 25 dozen of the ribbon stamp and if I sell them all I'm looking at $100.00 to cancer research.  I hope this explodes and I can sell more stamps and shortbreads for the cause.

Many thanks again and blessings on your beautiful Sunday!!!

Jan


Email 10/11/09 from a customer who owns a tea room.



.
“Hi Robin,

I have been meaning to write to you for over a month now because I wanted to share with you the attached image!  




As you can see, the stamp you created worked perfectly and our monogrammed cookie favors were a huge hit at our wedding. I just wanted to thank you again for your time and patience in creating this mold for us and share with you the result… I greatly appreciate all that you did. Many, manfy thanks again!  :) "

Kind regards,
Melissa”


Email 7/28/10  from a customer.



.
I have been making these cookies for 25 years! It has become a family favorite around the holidays. I am making these for an American Girl Tea Party for 24 girls at our Library. The cookies will be highlighted as cookies that Kirsten would have made. Thanks for helping my family and friends make memories enjoying these great cookies.

Email 8/3/10 from a customer who tried the Almond Shortbread recipe using some of our Swedish designs and reported her evaluation of the recipe as  excellent.



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