What It Means If Your Sugar Cookies Aren't Keeping Their Shape

For a holiday or rainy day activity, it's always a crowd pleaser when it's time to whip up some cute sugar cookies and bring out all the decorations for a bit of fun. Icing in different colors, sparkly sprinkles, and possibly even some metallic edible pearls?! It's exciting for all ages. This plan, however, tends to get ruined when that cute snowman or heart-shaped cookie comes out of the oven resembling nothing close to the cookie cutter used to make it.

You were excited for your kids to have an activity or to bring them to a festive get-together with friends, but now what? Why didn't your cookies hold their shape? You followed the recipe perfectly and you even went out of your way to find the themed cookie cutter. What a waste. Do you try to cut them with a knife to reshape them? Do you start from scratch? We think you should just eat them and enjoy the cookies for what they are, but here are some tips to have your next batch hold their shape.

Freeze your dough for the perfect sugar cookie

Chilling dough in the freezer is an essential step when making sugar cookies. According to Taste of Home, the science behind chilling or freezing your sugar cookie dough allows for the butter to solidify. This stops the butter from melting too quickly while you are baking, which leads to spreading and misshapen cookies. In addition, cutting cookies from chilled dough ensures sharp edges that will not distort as easily when transferring the cookies to a baking sheet (via Southern Living).

For the best chilling method, Eat This, Not That, recommends rolling out your dough between two sheets of parchment paper and then placing it into the freezer, letting the dough rest. Once it is time to bake, take it out of the freezer, remove the parchment and cut out your cookies using your cookie cutter. If only placed in the freezer for around 15 minutes, the dough should be malleable enough to work with. If frozen solid, Southern Living recommends allowing your dough sheet to thaw for 15 minutes if frozen before cutting out your cookies.

Be sure not to skimp on this vital step in the process. When reading the instructions it may seem like a waste of time, but it is a game-changer for cut-out cookies. With this tip, your holiday cookies may even win the next office bake-off!