We’re about to reveal a tool that home bakers have long used to quickly create neatly decorated cookies: cookie stamps.
These tiny, engraved plates, which you simply press into your preferred unleavened cookie, are typically made of metal, acrylic, wood, or silicone and feature festive designs like geometric patterns, snowflakes, dinosaurs, pumpkins, and more.
They’re also a great way to get people of all skill levels, especially children, into the kitchen because they’re so easy to use.
If you’re looking for the secrets to perfect stamped cookies, you’re in luck! Jennifer Dalquist, executive vice president at Nordic Ware, chef Sarah Rosenkrantz, a teacher at the Institute of Culinary Education, and Elizabeth Nelson, test kitchen lead at Wilton, were the three baking authorities we consulted for their opinions.
You’ll be baking beautiful cookies in no time if you take their advice.
The Best Cookie Stamp: Which One?
According to Nelson, “each material has different advantages, but silicone cookie stamps are typically easier to clean and is typically dishwasher safe.”
Cast aluminum, according to Dalquist, “allows for very intricate details to show up in the cookie dough, and because it’s metal, it can be chilled easily and retain its temperature to prevent softening the dough.”
On the other hand, wooden and metal cookie stamps must be hand washed because they cannot be put in the dishwasher.
Which Dough Is the Best?
A stamped cookie’s main enemy, according to our experts, is leavening agents, so stay away from baking soda and powder-containing doughs.
According to Rosenkrantz, “a shortbread recipe with added egg to provide structure to the dough” is a good recipe to use when making stamped cookies.
Insofar as they are the kind you’d use to construct a gingerbread house, she continues, “gingerbread cookies could also work.”
Positivity in First Contact
Chilling the dough is a great way to deal with soft dough and prevent it from sticking to the stamp, though it depends on the recipe.
To ensure that the shape of the cookies holds while baking, Rosenkrantz advises “starting with chilled dough, stamping it, and chilling it again.”
How can you tell if something is too cold or too warm? According to Dalquist, “the dough should not melt and fall apart, and you should still be able to easily press the dough with your thumb and index finger and leave an imprint.”
Using a natural aluminum cookie sheet is a huge help in ensuring a clear impression from your stamp, according to Dalquist and Rosenkrantz.
The surface of the cookie sheet will hold the cookie just firmly enough to make it easy to remove from the stamp.
When making your impression, Dalquist advises “using a rocking motion to release the stamp from the dough rather than pulling straight upward.”
The Top Cookie Stamp Programs
A cookie stamp can be used in two different ways. The dough must first be divided into equal portions and stamped one at a time using consistent pressure.
Rosenkrantz advises beginning with “walnut-sized dough balls, about 1-1 12 inch.” The alternative technique involves rolling out your dough to a consistent thickness (Dalquist advises no more than 38 inches thick) and stamping in rows.
Nelson prefers the roll and cut technique because “you’ll end up with cookies of a consistent thickness” and “it can be easier to control the placement of the design.”
To get a perfect impression in the dough between each cookie, Nelson also advises lightly dusting the stamp’s surface with flour.
Do the cookies need to be decorated further?
You have full discretion over that. The simplicity of use of a cookie stamp over conventional piping techniques is one benefit.
Dalquist suggests “rolling the cookie dough ball itself in colorful granulated sugar, powdered sugar, or cocoa powder” before stamping for those of us who like a little extra flair.
Once you’re finished, all you’ll have to do is enjoy some cookies and reflect on how much time you saved.