Many sugar cookie recipes will ask you to chill the dough post-mixing—and for good reason. Room temperature butter is more likely than cold butter to glom onto the work surface (and, consequently, to require extra flour protection, leading to less tender cookies). Plus, when the dough rests under refrigeration, the protein strands relax and it becomes less susceptible to shrinking as you roll it, cut it, and bake it.
Instead of rolling the cookie dough post-chilling — roll it out pre-chilling, but between two sheets of parchment paper instead of on a floured work surface. Sandwiched by parchment, your very-pliable dough has no chance of latching onto your rolling pin or your kitchen counter. Once you’ve got it at your desired thickness, you can carry the flattened dough right on over to the refrigerator, where it can chill until firm. (If the dough slab is going to be too large, just cut it into pieces and stack them up with parchment dividers.)
You needn’t have an expanse of clean marble or incredible forearm strength for nice-looking cookies! With parchment as protection, rolling out cookie dough has never been easier or neater.
And, bonus tip — since the dough is already on parchment paper, you can cut out the shapes you want, then let them remain in their same place: By pulling away the scraps around the cuts rather than trying to transfer the cookies themselves (in other words, by messing with the negative space and leaving the positive space alone), you’ll keep your reindeer and snowmen perfectly intact. Reroll the scraps later.