Thursday, January 6, 2011

From our kitchen to yours : Christmas Cookies

Sorry for the late post :( You may not think this is relevant now ... but it is !!! These cookies are AWESOME and you can make them anytime of the year for any occasion, mine just happen to be decorated in Christmas themes.

I make the sugar cookies every year for our many family events and this years were a simple, clean design.  Enjoy !

A new trick I learned this year that I will use EVERYTIME I MAKE ROLL OUT COOKIES !!!

Explanation :  Wax paper on counter top, dough on the wax paper, another layer of wax paper on top of the dough.  Go to Lowes and buy 2, 1/4 in wooden dowels in the trim section (less than 75 cents a piece).  Set the dowels beside the dough, this will be a track for your rolling pin to follow.

This process will ensure a uniform thickness to your cookies and ... here is comes ... my favorite part ... NO FLOUR NEEDED !!! Say whatttttt !? Yes, seriously, your cookies will have full flavor because no messy flour is needed !!! Make sure your dough is nice and chilled (I even pop my cut out cookies in the freezer for 10 mins or so before popping in the oven to ensure a nice shape).

Recipe for Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies

3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar
2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
1 egg
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling .
Roll out and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I recommend freezing the cut out shape on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Recipe from Bake at 350

Recipe for Icing
2 C Powdered sugar - Sifted ... do it, I know it's a pain but it makes a big difference
1 Tbsp Light Corn Syrup
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
a few drops of lemon
1 Tbsp Milk
Gel food coloring

Yeah, I never really do this small amount, but use these ratios and you can always make more icing while you're decorating :)

To start your decorating process, your icing needs to be thick.  You will "outline" the cookie design with the thicker frosting and then go in and "flood" the outlined area later.


 Once outline has hardened (30 mins) dilute the current icing with milk or water to a fairly thin consistancy, it will pour in a thick stream off of a spoon.  Fill in the open areas of the cookies with a thin layer of icing, let dry and enjoy !  Feel free to add sprinkles or other decorations at this point so they will set into the cookies

These cookies are great for baby showers, birthdays, valentines day, or just because :) Enjoy !!!

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