Stan, my main squeeze, is a nervous cook. He likes the end result of trying new recipes (i.e. delicious food), but the interim steps of learning the recipe and making it often result in stress and swearing. The first year we lived together I made the mistake of asking him to bake me lemon bars from scratch on my birthday, and he cursed out the baking pan in a way that probably would have gotten him punched in the face if the pan had arms. Poor, defenseless pan.
We had talked about making holiday cookies for Stan to take into work this year, but I didn't really want to bake them (or watch Stan swear at my baking sheets). Luckily, there was a solution: Pre-made dough in the form of Nestlé Toll House Rolled and Ready Cookie Dough Sheets! I picked up a couple packages and some other baking accoutrements and left him to do whatever he wanted. No stress for anybody this year, woo-hoo! I've documented the results of his baking experiments in this post for your reference and amusement.
For this year's cookie-a-thon, I provided a few essential components: Various decorations and mix-ins (colored sugar, crushed peppermints, candied fruits, nuts, icing)...
Cookie cutters and icing tips in various sizes...
|Yes, that's a brontosaurus cookie cutter.|
And most importantly the cookie dough, in the form of Nestle Toll House Rolled and Ready Cookie Dough Sheets.
|Lookin' creepy, Stan.|
As the name would suggest, Nestlé Rolled & Ready dough sheets are pre-made, pre-floured, pre-rolled and ready to go. You take them out of the package, cut them into whatever shapes you want, decorate and bake. It's that simple! Rolled & Ready comes in gingerbread, sugar cookie and chocolate varieties, but our teensy-weensy local supermarket only hand the gingerbread kind, so a gingerbread cookiefest is what we decided to have.
I picked up two packs of dough (meaning four sheets in total), so Stan decided to try his hand at a few different kinds of cookies. The obvious first choice was gingerbread dinosaur-men:
He decorated them with a bit of red and green sugar. How festive!
And with that, they were ready to go into the oven. Not so complicated, eh?
Unfortunately we got distracted and left them in the oven for a couple minutes too long, so our holiday dino-raurs got a touch burnt. I painted icing smiley faces on them to compensate.
It's okay dude, we'll keep a closer eye on time for the next batch.
After recovering from the dino-trauma, Stan decided he wanted to try his hand at a cookie bar-type confection next.
To make his cookie bars, he took one of the Rolled & Ready gingerbread dough sheets, cut it in half, mixed a bit of candied fruit and chopped pecans together, then spread it on half of the dough to make sort of a fruit-cakey sandwich.
Results after baking....
Totally not burnt! And "Mmmmmmmmmmmmm good" according to Stan. Paying attention to the time when you bake stuff really pays off, huh?
We still had a couple of sheets of dough left, so Stan decided he wanted to make some more traditional circle and square-shaped cookies to share with his co-workers.
He decorated them with a bit of colored sugar, crushed up mints, and a whole lotta love.
A few minutes in the oven, and voilà!
Those definitely look like cookies.
Stan didn't want to dispose of the dough scraps, being the practical sort of gent that he is, so he put those on a cookie sheet and baked them as well.
Attractive! Not a bad idea though—if you're spending time making nicely decorated cookies to give away, you're going to want a little something to nibble on yourself, right?
Overall, our holiday baking experiment was a success (and Stan ate the singed dinosaur cookies, so no big foul there.) I think not having to actually do any actual mixing or measuring eliminated most of the stress from the situation, and he was able to focus on decorating and laughing and chatting (and not cussing out my cookware). Success!
If you're looking for some easy, low-stress holiday baking ideas for yourself, be sure to check out the Nestlé Toll House website for inspiration. And look for Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets in the refrigerated section of your supermarket.
What do you think of Stan's cookie creations? Do you enjoy baking or do you find it stressful?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Nestle Toll House, however any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. I will receive a commission if you click on the links in this post. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy. #TollHouseTime #NestleTollHouse #CookieDoughSheets