Vermont Cookie Love: Tips & FAQs
Written & Directed by Jess Wilson at CCTV Productions
Get the Look
If you take home some frozen cookie dough and want to get the textured look of our cookies, try this: Cut or break the dough into any size piece you'd like (if you haven't eaten it raw yet). Take a piece of dough and break it gently in half. Now turn the two pieces 90 degrees so that the rough broken surface of each piece is aiming up, and press the base of each piece together slightly. The goal is to preserve the rough broken surface on top so that it looks like a little cookie dough rose. Then follow the baking instructions on the package. When it bakes down, not only will it maintain a textured "home-made" appearance, but it will also achieve the crunch on the outside and gooey on the inside consistency our customers love.
Slice a disk of dough for a cookie.
Break the disk in half so you have 2 pieces.
Invert the two pieces 90° so that the rough edges are pointing up.
Press the base of the two pieces back together, leaving the rough edges on top. You now have a tall ball of dough with a rough top - a cookie rose - that will bake down into a beautiful cookie.
Working with Sugar Dough - Cut Outs:
Whether you work with our sugar cookie dough, or you made your own, here are some tips for handling the dough that will help you make perfect cut outs again and again.
- If the dough was previously frozen, bring it almost to room temperature before rolling. It should be soft enough that you don't have to strain to roll it.
- Once the dough is soft, tear two large sheets of wax paper and place the dough between the sheets. Try to position the dough so that its shape more or less conforms to the shape of the paper. In other words, if you have a log of dough to start, place it length-wise on the paper, rather than width-wise. If you have a ball of dough, just center it.
- First press the dough flat as best you can, using just your hands. The goal is to get a surface you can easily roll on - it's pretty hard to start rolling right onto a ball of dough.
- Starting in the center of the dough, press your rolling pin down into the dough first, then firmly roll out to the edge of the dough. Don't start at the edge and roll back and forth on the dough because you will end up with a curled piece of dough, and the paper is more apt to tear.
- Turn the whole package of paper and dough a quarter turn and repeat the rolling from the middle out.
- Turn again and repeat, until your dough is pretty uniformly rolled out to a thickness of about ¼ inch.
- Place the dough-in-paper package on a cookie sheet, and put the cookie sheet and all into the freezer. It will only take about 10 minutes for it to freeze up enough to be able to cut out nice clean shapes.
- While it is freezing, select your cookie cutters, and place a mixture of flour and sugar about 1/2 inch deep into a shallow dish (the proportions don't really matter), wide enough for you to be able to dip your largest cutter into.
- If your dough is stiff when you try to pick it up, it is ready to cut. Take the whole thing out of the freezer, leaving the dough-in-paper on the cookie sheet, which will help keep it cold longer.
- Peel the waxed paper slowly and gently off the top of the dough. It will pull away easiest if you pull so the paper forms about a 45 degree angle over the paper that remains, and pull in a slight circular direction. Once the whole sheet is off, place it gently back on top of the dough, and flip the whole dough-in-package over so you can peel the other sheet off the other side. Once both sheets of paper are free of the dough, you can take the sheet off of what is now the top and begin cutting.
- Dip your cutter in the flour/sugar mix and press it firmly into the dough. When you lift it up, the dough will probably come with it. If so, gently push the dough out of the cutter onto a separate cookie sheet.
- Cut out as many shapes as you can and place them about and inch apart on the other cookie sheet.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes. Watch the cookies (preferably through the window in your oven rather than by opening the door). Your cookies are done when the edges just start to brown.
- Roll the rest of the scraps of dough into a ball and repeat the pressing, rolling, freezing, cutting and baking procedure. If your wax paper gets too thin and delicate, replace it with new wax paper.
- Allow your cookies to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer them to a rack or paper towel to cool the rest of the way before decorating.
- Baked cookies can be frozen in an air tight freezer bag if you make them ahead of time. Just wait until they are thoroughly cooled before putting them in the bag.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is your GMO policy?
As of May 2012, we are committed to sourcing GMO-free ingredients. The main ingredients of concern in our products are canola oil, chocolate containing soya lecithin, and sugar. We now use organic canola oil, we use GMO-free chocolate from Callebaut Chocolate, and we use Domino sugars, which are 100% cane.
- When will you have Mother's Love in frozen dough?
We are still working to find a wholesale source for butterscotch chips that meets our standards for flavor and quality.
- Do you make gluten free products?
Not yet. We have chosen to focus first on what we know. We hope that once our infrastructure is more firmly in place, we will be able to devote the time necessary to develop a gluten free cookie.
- Are your products Organic?
Not yet. Once again, we hope to branch out into organics in the near future.
- Where can we buy your fresh-baked cookies?
The best place to get our cookies is at our own cookie shop, The Love Shack, opened in December 2008 on Route 7 in North Ferrisburgh, VT.
- Do you sell your baked cookies in stores?
We sell packaged cookies at several local stores (check out the stores page for the current locations). And of course, you can buy them at The Love Shack as well!
- Is your raw dough safe to eat?
We use pasteurized eggs in our dough. Pasteurization kills Salmonella. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, pasteurized egg products can be used in recipes that will not be cooked, i.e., eaten raw, but it recommends that "high-risk persons," which it defines as "infants and young children, pregnant women and their unborn babies, older adults and people with weakened immune systems (such as those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients)," not consume even pasteurized egg products un-cooked.
- Are there nuts in your cookies?
We make two flavors containing tree nuts or legumes, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, which includes crushed peanuts in addition to the peanut butter, and Enduring Love, oatmeal, chocolate chips, coconut, almonds and dried cranberries. All flavors are processed on the same equipment.
- Do you do wedding favors?
Yes, we can create cookie favors custom designed for your wedding or special event. Just call us to explore the possibilities.