8 Easy Christmas Cookie Hacks

Matcha gingerbread. Chocolate chip laced with maple syrup (for when you're rewatching "Elf"). Homemade Oreos. If there's one thing we're confident in, it's that we know our way around a holiday cookie swap. Whether you're a Christmas cookie veteran or are making cookies for Santa for the very first time, here are our best tips for your December baking marathon.

Brown your butter

For an added wallop of caramelized undertones and nutty flavor, brown your butter before you begin your recipe. Melted butter in lieu of solid butter also makes an extra-dense and chewy cookie, which, in our opinion, is the best kind of cookie ever.

Think outside the sheet pan

Distracted bakers, this tip is for you: Bars are the way to go. Instead of rotating out multiple sheet pans every 15 minutes, make a few baking pans of cookie bars, and your cookie quota will be done in a fraction of the time. Need a recipe? Try this Chocolate-Tahini Bar recipe.

Revive your brown sugar

You know what's a real nightmare before Christmas? Grocery shopping on Christmas Eve. If you find that your brown sugar has become too hard, try our tips to revive it using a microwave, food processor, or box grater before braving the crowded baking aisle.

Get your eggs to room temperature

Dumping cold eggs into nicely creamed butter and sugar can cause clumps to form in your dough. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature so your cookie dough has an easier time coming together.

Soften your butter faster

Rest assured, butterfingers. If you're in a time crunch and need softened butter fast, this easy hack will have you whizzing away at the KitchenAid in no time. You can either grate the butter or steam it to make baking that much easier.

Use a wine bottle as a rolling pin

You might not own a nice French rolling pin for flattening out your cookie dough, but there's a good chance you do have a few empty wine bottles lying around. A wine bottle might actually work even better than a rolling pin since the glass will stay cooler for longer.

MacGyver a piping bag

Seriously, is there anything a Ziploc bag can't do? Just cut off the corner of a bag, and there you have it: a piping bag.

Use a toothpick to channel your inner Martha Stewart

If piping delicate bow ties on a dozen gingerbread men isn't up your alley, then with some royal icing and a few toothpicks, you can still have festive cookies on your mantel just in time for Santa's visit.