These are made by rolling out a stiff dough into a thin layer; the dough may then be cut with cookie cutters or sliced into shapes.
• For the dough to hold its shape once cut, it needs to be firm. Chill thoroughly before cutting.
• Roll the dough between sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap to prevent sticking or tearing.
• If the dough becomes soft after rolling, place it in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes, or in the freezer for five minutes, until it firms.
• Dip cookie cutters into flour or powdered sugar to make clean cuts and prevent them from sticking to the dough.
• After cutting the dough, gather the scraps, knead gently, and reroll. Cut out one more batch of shapes. Do not reroll the scraps again, as the dough will be overworked at this point, resulting in cookies that are tough.
• To ensure cookies retain their intended shapes, follow two rules: Roll the dough to the thinness specified, and be sure the dough and pan are cold as they go into the oven.