Sunday, December 7, 2008
Cookies and Christmas; Two things that go hand in hand in my family. It's become a tradition for my mom and my sisters and I to get together with all of our kiddies and spend an entire day devoted to Christmas Cookies. We used to make, bake and decorate all of our cookies together, but as our families have gotten larger, the time it took to get through making and baking and decorating nearly 20 dozen cookies started nudging into a second day... and perhaps even a third. We've adjusted our tradition accordingly and no longer make and bake together, and instead, we get together with our already baked cookies (and a few dozen of a few other kinds to swap) and devote the day to frosting the cookies. With 8 grandchildren and still close to 20 dozen cookies, it takes a good chunk of a day!
The recipe I use is the one that my mom has always made since the dawn of time. They melt in your mouth-- even if you are eating it straight from the freezer (is there any better way?). I think it's because they are made with powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar. If you make these just once, I promise you'll never go back to other icky sugar cookie recipes.
1.5 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2.5 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Stir dry ingredients together and blend in. Form dough into three or four balls and refrigerate about 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 375. Take out one ball of dough and keep the remaining balls in the refrigerator. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured pastry cloth. Cut with cookie cutter. (If you aren't going to frost the cookies after baking, sprinkle the cut outs with sugar before baking.
(tying a piece of red yarn around your head while making cut outs seems to be the trick for perfectly shaped cookies)
Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes or until delicately golden. Makes 5 dozen 2-2 1/2" cookies.
WATCH THE TIME ON THE COOKIES! They burn easily and the time really needs to be perfected.
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
Blend sugar with vanilla and milk until thin consistency.
This frosting sets up nicely so it sort of "dries" onto the cookie.
Decorate with sprinkles and candies.
Each year, the decorating begins with many eager bodies excited to create their own masterpieces...
... and ends with the adults at the table finishing up the decorating (and of course gabbing)...
... while the kids are off doing something else!
Merry Christmas! Time to start your own Christmas Cookie tradition!