Martha Stewart's Trick To Keep The Shape When Storing Rolled Cookie Dough

When it comes to rolling logs of cookie dough, you want them to keep their shape so you get perfectly circular and symmetrical cookies when you slice them up and bake them. This is much easier said than done, that is unless you use Martha Stewart's paper-towel roll trick when storing them in the fridge. Keeping your cookie dough chilled until you are ready to bake helps the fat to harden which is essential for the cookie log to keep its shape. But how you roll and store the dough is half the battle. 

This is why Stewart uses paper-towel rolls, which would otherwise be recycled, like a mold to keep her cookie dough logs perfectly round. Stewart presses her cookie dough into a snake-like cylinder by encasing the dough in a sheet of parchment paper as per her Youtube channel. In order to get her log smooth and firm, she uses a sushi rolling mat to add pressure. Once its cylinder shape is perfect, she takes a cardboard paper-towel roll that has been slit lengthwise and wraps it around the parchment paper-wrapped log of dough, securing it in place with a little tape. 

Cutting and sugaring your refrigerated dough

The paper-towel roll is going to ensure the cookie dough doesn't flatten out, and that it, instead, remains rigid and round while it is chilling in the refrigerator. Martha Stewart also recommends wrapping the whole thing in plastic wrap so the dough ends are appropriately covered before popping it into the fridge. When the cookie dough is chilled, Stewart releases it from the confines of the cardboard tube; however, she cautions to be careful otherwise the cold dough can crack. 

After brushing it with an egg wash, she rolls it in crystal sugar and slices it up. If you are worried that the cookie dough will soften up too quickly and lose that cylinder shape as you slice it, you can keep the tube wrapped around the cookie dough log and just push it out from either end as you slice and go. If symmetry is your pursuit in baking, this paper-towel roll trick can be adapted and used for similar desserts that can also be rolled and chilled, such as cinnamon rolls.