Many of the recipes in Cookie Love require rolling short dough out into a rectangle. I am decently proficient with a rolling pin, but I'm always looking for ways to make the rolling process faster and less fussy. Sometimes you want to spot-treat a too-thick area that's too small to warrant a whole rolling pin, for example. Mindy Segal had a solution for me : She introduced me to the pastry roller.
A simple contraption that looks like a small paint roller, a pastry roller is excellent for flattening out small sections of dough. If a side is just a tad too thick, running the roller lightly over the surface smoothes it out. I found one at Sur La Table and it ran me all of $12.
How to use it:
A pastry/dough roller makes it easy to flatten shortbread into a pan, a handy trick when making any kind of layered bar cookies. The pictures below show how to smooth a layer of graham cracker shortbread that will become the base of a bar cookie. First press the shortbread into the base of the pan as well as you can with your fingers. Then cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap. Pass the roller over the shortbread to smooth out the bumps on the surface. Finally, peel off the plastic wrap.