Cookie Swap: Cookie Baking Secrets

It’s the holidays and I’m hosting my annual cookie swap. (Some of you might call it a cookie exchange!) I’ve been sharing my best cookie recipes and I know you’re hard at work baking, so before we go any further, I need to take a short break and share some of my best cookie baking secrets with you.

In today’s cookie swap post, I’m sharing those little cookie secrets that are second nature to me as a professional baker, but might be “news” to you. If you missed the cookie swap recipes and tips, I have them all archived for you in the blog and if you want me to send them to you in an email, be sure to sign up and join me in the kitchen!

Though a long-standing holiday tradition, cooking baking all day can test your mettle. What starts out as a day of fun can turn into a messy and disappointing time if your cookies don’t turn out.

Never fear, I have gathered my favorite essential cookie baking tools and secrets so you can have the very best time baking.


  1. Pace yourself. One of the greatest things I have learned over the years is how to pace myself. I would get all excited about baking Christmas cookies and end up overwhelmed, exhausted and staring a dirty kitchen. There is simply no need to do it all in a weekend or in one day.
  2. Read the recipe and follow it. While cooking is an art, baking is a science. Measurements, room temperature or chilled ingredients are written down for optimal results.
  3. Room temperature is the best. Start with ingredients at room temperature unless the recipe states otherwise. Eggs, butter, etc should all be pulled out of the fridge to warm up before you begin. I like to give my butter an hour to warm up.
  4. Use an oven thermometer for accurate baking. Every oven is different so it helps to know where you temp stands before you slide your first tray in the oven.
  5. Use quality ingredients. You can taste the difference between cheap butter, flour and chocolate. I love Plugra butter, King Arthur flour and Ghiradelli’s Cocoa and Chocolates. Spend a few extra dollars and wow you family and friends with irresistible cookies.
  6. Bake one batch at time. When you bake one batch of cookies at at ime, you’re setting yourself up for success in the long run. Trust me. You’ll have less measuring mistakes and baking time mistakes.
  7. Lightly browned = done. Cookies are done with the edges are set and lightly browned. Period. End of tip.

The Secret To Room Temperature Butter

I think the biggest cookie fail has to be using the wrong consistency butter. If your butter is too cold or too hot, your cookies won’t turn out perfectly.

How do you know the SECRET to room temperature butter?

Remember when I said above in my cookie baking secrets that it is important to start with room temperature ingredients?? That applies to your butter as well. (All good cookies are made with butter!)

Well, room temperature butter should hold its shape.  When you stick your finger in the room temperature butter, your finger will leave a dent, but the butter will still be a little cool. It shouldn’t be overly soft of squishy.

Room temperature butter should not be overly soft or mushy.  I like to give my butter an hour to warm up. Now, if it’s warm or hot in your kitchen, it won’t take an hour. If your kitchen is cold, it might take longer. 

The rule of thumb for me…Press on the butter. If my finger goes in and leaves an indention, but the butter holds its shape, if the butter has a slight coolness about it, then it’s ready to use. 

Cookie Baking Must Haves

Like any picky baker, I have a list of essential cookie baking tools that I cannot start a cookie baking session without, like the perfect cookie sheets, parchment paper and cookie scoopers. I can’t live with out my cookie scoopers! I love parchment paper because it makes clean up so much easier. With all the baking that I do, I can’t afford to make extra mess in my kitchen!

I made a list of my favorite cookie baking tools for you and you can shop my list.

Join Minette’s Cookie Swap This Year!

So, what about you? Did you join my Cookie Swap and make the snowball cookies? I’d love to see your comments and experience with this recipe. Leave me a comment below and we can talk all things cookie swap and Southern snowball recipes!

Remember, I’ll send you all of this year’s cookie swap recipes right to your Inbox, plus share my cookie baking secrets, so don’t forget to sign up for my cookie swap emails right here.

Join Minette’s Cookie Swap right here and see all of this year’s Cookie Swap recipes!

Join Minette Rushing & C’mon In The Kitchen

C’mon in the kitchen with Minette Rushing Custom Cakes! For more of my baking secrets and Southern dessert recipes, be sure to follow along on the blog while I share cookies recipes, my best cake recipes and delicious recipes for fillings and how to make frosting recipes and so much more!

You can also shop all of my baking essentials and tools, so you’re fully equipped to join me in the kitchen for all things sweet and Southern. If you’re looking for the recipes that built my business and other business tips, please check out my cake business shop where I’ll show you how to build the cake business of your dreams, just like I did.

C’mon in the kitchen with me!



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