Rolling pins are commonly made of hardwoods such as maple or beechwood that can resist splitting. You should never wash a rolling pin by soaking it in water. Instead, scrape off any little pieces of dough stuck to it and wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
Rolling pins also come in Teflon-coated or marble. The latter type can be chilled before using and is, therefore, great when working with buttery dough.
You can roll dough on any flat surface such as your kitchen counter regardless of whether the counter is made of granite, Formica, Corian, or wood.
Start rolling from the center of dough toward the outside edge, using short but firm strokes. Remember to stop just shy of the edge so that it does not become too thin. Keep dusting the rolling pin and work surface slightly with flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Alternatively, you may find it easier to roll dough out between two sheets of wax paper.
To assist you in making the perfect rolled or cut out cookies, I have collected the following tips from Great Cookies – Secrets to Sensational Sweets written by Carole Walters and published by Clarkson Potter, 2003.
- Prevent dough from becoming too soft by rolling only a small piece of chilled dough at a time, and keeping the remaining dough refrigerated.
- Chill all the scraps again before re-rolling. To avoid more scraps after the second try, form all the scraps into a cylinder, then wrap and chill it. When the cylinder of scraps is cold enough, slice it and bake.
- Avoid cookie cutters with too much fine details because it would be difficult to release the dough from these cutters.
- Prevent dough from sticking to cookie cutters by dipping them in flour, and tapping them slightly to remove excess flour.
In Smart Cookies #13, I shared some tips for preparing butter cookie dough that is not too sticky to roll out.
Please try any one of these easy recipes for cut out cookies.