Have you seen the cover of Salt Lake Magazine?

If you haven't already, you'll want to pick up a copy of the November/ December issue of Salt Lake Magazine.

On the cover is a beautiful gingerbread house, a replica of the City/ County Building and it is a masterpiece!

The gingerbread baker, Elisa Crockatt from The Baking Hive joined Mary Brown Malouf from Salt Lake Magazine on The PLACE.

Elisa gave all of us amateur bakers some cookie decorating tips and shortcuts.

She says always roll and cut dough on parchment paper so there's no awkward transferring of cut cookie dough to the cookie sheet.

Refrigerate or freeze cookie dough on parchment before baking allows you to bypass long chill times in recipes and helps cookies hold their shape.  Another tip: look for dough recipes that use all butter and little-to-no baking powder or soda.

If you are decorating cookies with kids, Elisa says either bake cookies more firm or dressed after baking so they are easy to handle.  For small kids, let them either dip cookies in melted chocolate or paint on glaze to cookies rather than trying to have them ice with a piping bag or a spatula.  This is more forgiving and much easier for kids!

For older kids and adults, dipping a nice shortbread cookie in chocolate and then decorating with sprinkles or crushed peppermint gives the cookie and more refined and decadent look.

If you do choose to decorate with buttercream, choose an easy repetitive pattern than you can then easily pile onto the cookie.  This looks far more professional and appetizing than trying to decorate with a spatula or butter knife.  Then you can class it up more with cute sprinkles!

Find more of her tips at thebakinghive.com.

You can also find more great articles at: saltlakemagazine.com.

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