So, here's a stumper for you. What was the best thing invented before sliced bread? No, no, just think about it. We always claim that something is "the best thing since sliced bread," What did everyone say before the invention of sliced bread?
"Hey, this is the best thing since the invention of..." Fire? indoor plumbing? Unsliced bread?
I honestly don't know and I'll probably end up pondering it at 3 a.m. one of these days, but I do have a new tool in my kitchen that I consider the best thing since sliced bread; or perhaps that should be the best thing since cutout cookies.
Meet my new best friend, the Uniform Pastry Pin.
How much do I love this pin? Well, after testing it out for our merchandising team, I honestly did not want to give it back. I did eventually, but with some whining, and quite a bit of not-so-subtle cajoling to let me keep it. Rosie, one of our hard goods purchasers, was very good natured about it to my face but I'm sure with my back turned she probably contemplated giving it to me, right in the keister, on more than one occasion.
So, it's a rolling pin, what's the big deal? The big deal is that this sturdy Vermont maple rolling pin is turned to roll out dough at a perfect 1/4" thickness. Every. Single. Time. No rubber rings to fiddle with, no sticks to adjust. Just roll and rejoice, it's like magic.
Here, I'll show you. A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say.
So, I've got a chilled batch of my favorite cookie dough, a well-floured surface and my new BFRPF (best friend rolling pin forever).
Can you see what I mean? The handles you hold to roll out the dough are exactly 1/4" larger than the barrel of the pin. So, as you roll the dough it automatically becomes 1/4" thick.
Just look at that smooth, even sheet of dough.
Of course, you need to keep your dough narrow enough to fit between the handles. If you try to roll the dough too large the outer portions of the dough won't get pressed evenly.
On the far left, you can see the big divot I made in the dough through injudicious rolling.
With this smooth expanse of dough, I can cut several cookies out of one sheet and know, really KNOW that they're all the same and will bake evenly with no thin spots to burn, or thick spots to remain doughy.
Once the perfect cookies are placed on the parchment, the last step is to brush off any excess flour before baking.
After baking, these cookies will get a coating of Simple Cookie Glaze and some colored sugars. I keep a stack of cookies handy during the holidays for my mail carrier and the various delivery folks who must traverse my steep driveway to delivery goodies. I figure the least I can do is offer a pretty sweet to make their day a little merrier.
For now, I'm off to find Rosie and see if she's ready to bestow my beloved pin on me – or bean me with it!