You have a craving for cookies and feel like getting creative in the kitchen. There is only one problem—no rolling pin. It’s time to go shopping!
As you start looking around, you might be surprised to learn that there’s an entire rolling pin industry out there. It was news to me as well. I remember the humble wooden pin from baking with my grandmother as a child, back in simpler times. Now, aspiring cooks can choose between marble, glass, stainless steel, and old-fashioned wooden rolling pins.
So, which one is best for cookie dough? Let’s find out!
Simple cut-out cookie recipe
Rolling pins are especially handy when you’re making simple butter cookies for decorating. To make them, you need the following ingredients:
- A cup of unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- A large egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- About 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I like to add a little extra.)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer (read my reviews of some good hand mixers here). Then beat in your egg and vanilla. Add in your flour a cup at a time until you have a stiff dough.
Divide the dough into two balls and let them chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
Tip: Gather up any cookie cutters you have lying around. Don’t have any? You can use an upside-down cup in a pinch! It helps to dip the cutters in flour before each use.
Time to get out your rolling pin! Roll out the cookies on a sheet of parchment paper until they are a quarter inch thick. Cut out your shapes and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until browned.
Butter cookies taste best glazed or frosted. A simple glaze made with confectioner’s sugar, a little corn syrup, milk, and food coloring adds extra sweetness and interest to your cookies! Allow the cookies to cool before frosting them.
What makes a great rolling pin for cookies?
Feeling confused and overwhelmed? Thankfully, the Internet is just a click away to help solve the problem, and prevent a cookie dough disaster. There are plenty of online resources available to help you find a rolling pin that’s perfect for your baking needs.
For example, the website BBC Good Food has rolling pin tips given by several contestants from the award-winning TV show: The Great British Bake Off. These guys are experts when it comes to baking, and describe the pin as a “fundamental” piece of kitchen equipment.
One of their recommendations is to use a long, thin, wooden pin—without handles—to roll out cookie dough. No handles means the pin is easier to move around, and the length allows you to roll dough out over a wide surface area.
In essence, the wider the pin, the quicker the roll. This means more time indulging in freshly-baked cookies. Plus, pins without handles are easier to clean, making life in the kitchen just a little bit sweeter.
Okay, now we have a general idea of how to shop for a rolling pin. Next, let’s look at style.
A French-style rolling pin is made from wood and is tapered on each side for easy rolling. Joy the Baker says a French pin makes it easier to apply pressure when rolling, especially when working with soft bread and pie dough. The tapered look is also very chic, as with most things French. Unfortunately, the tapered style is not the ideal rolling pin for stiff cookie dough, no matter how fashionable it may look.
For those with expensive tastes, a marble rolling pin will be the kitchen tool of choice. A marble pin is pretty, makes a statement, and is an investment piece for any kitchen. It’s also practical, because the added weight from the marble makes rolling out dough even easier (though it can be heavy to carry around the kitchen). BBC Good Food recommends splurging on marble because it can be chilled before use, preventing dough from sticking to the pin. Joy the Baker likes to use marble because it looks good. Enough said.
Fox Run Marble Rolling Pin with Wood Base
This 10-inch marble rolling in by Fox Run is constructed from of beautiful and durable marble. The marble is naturally cool and non-stick, which is great for cookie dough. The handles and resting base are constructed from smooth wood. At almost 5 lbs, the hefty weight helps to easily spread the dough.
You can choose from white, green, or black marble. To clean, hand-wash with a mild detergent.
Tip: Place marble rolling pins in the freezer for half an hour to cool it down before using!
According to Joy, the traditional wooden style (or American pin) with two handles for easy rolling is great for cookie dough. Why? It’s comfortable and classic. Using a maple wooden pin may require a bit of arm strength to roll it back and forth, but it works well for chilled dough. A traditional style pin is also great for pizza, pie, flatbreads, and biscuits—meaning it’s a versatile piece of equipment for any kitchen.
J.K. Adams Maple Wood Medium Gourmet Rolling Pin
The J.K Adams rolling pin comes in a number of sizes. For cookie dough, I recommend the 12 inch x 2-3/4 inch x 3 inch medium size. This model is handcrafted in the USA from maple wood. It features waxed barrels, easy-grip handles, a full-length steel axel, and self-lubricating bearings for smooth rolling.
To clean your wooden rolling pin, wash with warm soapy water and dry promptly.
Modern Laser Cut
Looking to add a unique twist to the humble cookie? Then look no further than the laser cut rolling pin. Laser cutting allows phrases and images to be stamped into the wood, which is then transferred onto the dough when rolling. It’s a fun alternative, and a cool way to show off at a bake sale with custom-designed cookies.
Cats Pattern Embossing Rolling Pin
Constructed from natural beech wood, this Kederastyle rolling pin is a fun choice. It measures 15.4 inches total, with a cylinder size of 7.8 inches x 2 inches. The size might be a little small if you’re making a lot of cookies, but it would make a great gift for anyone who loves baking.
This pin, like the others on this list, is hand-wash only.
This cute engraved rolling pin is something of a novelty item, but who doesn’t love cats?! (You can also find other patters from their web store.)
Using a metal rolling pin has a number of perks. Unlike wood, metal will not crack or warp over time. It isn’t porous, so a metal rolling pin is more sanitary than wood. And, as many models are dishwasher-safe, cleaning a metal rolling pin is super convenient. Metal can also be chilled in the refrigerator, making it the perfect tool for working with sticky dough.
Chef’s Organic Gadgets Premium Stainless Steel Rolling Pin
Cook’s Illustrated has very kindly taken the time to review the best pins on the market. Their top pick for the kitchen is a 18.5 inch stainless steel rolling pin by Chef’s Organic Gadgets, which features adjustable and removable disks. It has three settings: 2, 6, and 10 mm.
The pin is a baker’s dream because the disks adjust the thickness of the dough, putting an end to uneven cookies.
Vintage style has been kicking around for years and, with the rise of food styling, it has worked its way into the kitchen. An old, wooden rolling pin brings a sense of nostalgia and warmth to baking. It evokes childhood memories of eating warm cookies with a glass of milk and spending time with mom in the kitchen. Joy the Baker loves vintage rolling pins (even if they can be too small or full of splinters). Vintage style is pretty and, if you’re a fan of taking pictures of your baking escapades, then vintage is the pin for you.
J.K. Adams 19-Inch Maple Wood Rolling Dowel
It’s back to basics with the J.K. Adams wood rolling dowel. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. The great thing about using a simple rolling dowel is that there aren’t any moving parts that can break. It’s also the perfect size for making a large batch of cookies, measuring 19 inches x 2 inches.
This model is hand-wash only. Like a quality chef’s knife, every well-equipped kitchen should have one of these!
So, after all that research, what is the best rolling pin for cookie dough? It seems to be a case of personal style. Personally, I’ll be going for a traditional wooden pin without handles. If it was good enough for my Grandmother, then it’s good enough for me.
For more recommendations on great baking supplies for your cookies, see this article on the best rimmed baking sheets and the ice cream scoops that will have you baking like a pro.
Sending cookies in the mail? Read about how to pack cookies for shipping!
Rolling pins aren’t just for cookies! Find out how to choose the best rolling pin for pasta.