No holiday cookie platter is complete without gingerbread cookies. I love them because they’re simple, delicious and fun to make. But not every gingerbread cookie is created equal. Of course you want to offer your friends and family the best possible cookie. So here are a few tips to help you create the perfect gingerbread cookies:
1) Lighten Them Up—It’s easy to make gingerbread cookies healthier thanks to the bold flavor they get from molasses and spices. Cinnamon, ginger and cloves can easily mask the flavor of whole wheat flour (which we use plenty of in our cookie recipes without a noticeable change in the result). And the rich flavor of molasses makes it easier to cut back on butter—a source of saturated fat. Since you do need some fat in cookies, we replace the butter with a little canola oil, which is mild in flavor and lower in saturated fat.
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2) Let the Dough Chill—Chill your dough for at least 2 hours before rolling it out. It makes is less likely to stick to the rolling pin or your countertop.
3) Don’t Overwork Your Dough—Gingerbread cookies should be firm, but they should be tender, not tough. Toughness is caused by the dough being worked too much—either by overmixing or rerolling too many times. Our recipe has some built-in protection against toughness in the form of white vinegar. The acid from the vinegar tenderizes the dough without imparting an off-taste
Must-Read: How to Make Better Chocolate Chip Cookies 
4) Map Out Your Cookie Cuts—Making gingerbread cookies is like a puzzle. Once you’ve rolled your dough out, take some time to figure out where to place your cookie cutters to optimize space. Place your cutters close together and use smaller cookie cutters for the edges or other small spaces. This will help cut back on extra dough. Sure, you can roll out the scraps, but the more you roll your dough, the less tender it will be.
5) Keep Your Cookies Fresh—Cookies are best when they’re not much more than a day or two old. Be sure to store them in an airtight container to keep them from drying out. If you love fresh-baked cookies, bake only a few at a time, and freeze the rest of the dough to be used later. Our dough can be frozen for up to a month.
Related: How to Host a Cookie Swap 
Get the Recipe: The Carlsmith Family’s Gingerbread Cookies » 
Looking for other delicious cookies for your cookie platter? We’re teaming up with our friends at the Food Network  to bring you the best cookie recipes from across the internet for a virtual cookie swap. Check out some of these links from our fellow foodies to find more cookie recipes you’ll love.
All You Magazine: White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies 
Oprah.com: Sugar Cookies 
Gilt Taste: Milk Bar Holiday Cookies 
Liquor.com: Drink in the Holidays 
Cooking Light: Iced Sugar Cookies 
MyRecipes.com: Ultimate Chocolate Chunk Cookies 
Food52: Ginger Spiced Molasses Sugar Cookies 
Cooking Channel: The White House’s Molasses Spice Cookies “Gingersnaps” 
BlogHer: Triple Chocolate Almond Cookies 
CafeMom: Marvelous Mini Apple Crisp Cookies 
The Daily Meal: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Food Republic: Gingerbread Cheesecake Cookies 
EatingWell: 5 Tips for Perfect Gingerbread Cookies 
Redbook Magazine: Candy Cane Cookies 
Gourmet Live: Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies 
AP/ J.M. Hirsch: Ginger Fig Crumb Bars 
Fox News: White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies 
Epicurious: Italian Almond Cookies 
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Cowboy Cookies 
FN Dish: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Bacon Cookies 
Yahoo! Shine: Nutmeg Rosettes 
Food & Wine: Chocolate-Espresso Snowballs 
YumSugar: Coconut Date Balls 
What are your secrets for perfect gingerbread cookies? Tell us what you think below.