The Baking Hack That Makes Cleaner Shapes With A Cookie Cutter

At least once in your life, you've probably rolled out chilled cookie dough, cut the dough into shapes, and tried to painstakingly lift each cookie shape off of the countertop only to have your shaped, raw cookies fall apart. Worse still, maybe your cookies reached the baking sheet intact but after baking, the shapes were completely unrecognizable. Fortunately, there's a hack for this. Wait to cut your cookies until after they finish baking, and you can achieve perfectly shaped cookies with less mess and stress.

In an Instagram video from @allinspiredwellness, the user demonstrates how she bakes cookies as one giant, rectangular bar on a sheet pan. Once the bar is cool to the touch, she cuts the cookies out using a sharp-edged cutter (think metal, not plastic), allowing the already-baked cookies to pop out from the larger bar in the perfect shape.

This hack won't be as effective with cookies that are crispy throughout, as the bar's size makes that texture difficult to achieve, and pressing the cutter through a crispier cookie will cause more crumbling than clean lines. The trick will, however, work well for softer cookies like gingerbread. Some commenters on @allinspiredwellness' video pointed out that this method will result in extra cookie scraps, though others countered that those scraps are delicious — and can even be used to make cake pops.

Other ways to achieve perfectly shaped cookies

Of course, you may not always be aiming for the perfectly shaped gingerbread man or holiday star. Sometimes, you want a perfectly round cookie, or perhaps a cookie cake in the shape of a heart (or something equally simple). In these instances, you have other options aside from @allinspiredwellness' method.

For example, if you want circular, normal-sized cookies but still want them to be entirely uniform, consider using TikTok's viral perfect cookie trick, wherein you place a large, round biscuit or cookie cutter around the cooked, fresh-from-the-oven cookie and gently swirl the warm cookie around to create a perfect circle and smooth out the sides. As the cookies cool, they retain that shape. If you don't have a cutter, then you can try baking cookies in a muffin tin for perfectly uniform circles. Want to bake oversized cookie cakes in the shape of your choosing? Get creative with the cookie cake foil trick: Shape the dough on a sheet pan, then craft an aluminum foil border around the shaped dough. The foil will hold the dough in place as it bakes.