Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Cookies :D

Doesn't the words "sugar cookie" remind us all of our childhood, especially during the holiday season.This month cant go without delicious sweet sugar cookies especially with the added twist of holiday stencils. This is the first time ever for myself to do stencils on cookies and I was presently surprised with the results.It was lots of effort and time in my part to get all 4 dozen cookies done, but it was worth it because it was a lot of fun being creative.

Sugar cookies are really simple to make and highly recommended for children especially helping out with the decorating process. It's a great way for them to accomplish something, be creative and eating there creations while its all happening in a few hours.I always loved eating sugar cookie when I was little and I probably helped out decorating as well, but cant really exactly remember it.

Now the shoe is on the other foot and I am the one baking sugar cookies for the whole family to enjoy.Ultimately I chose to bake sugar cookies to give as a small gift to my niece for her 2nd birthday that is today. Hopefully she really likes my sugar cookies because I sure put a lot of effort into to making them. However I am not to worry I haven't met anyone yet that didn't like sugar cookies, maybe the chocolate flavor ones lol.
 The recipe is a pretty basic sugar cookie with the added spice of cinnamon.At first I had some difficulty  with the butter and sugar because the fat wasn't really soft enough to be beaten;however I already had it cut up into pieces and placed in the bowl. It took awhile to beat and see some melting action. I eventually added the sugar and it began to become a little fluffier, but it still needed some more help so I used a wooden spoon to beat it together and that finally did the trick. So my recommendation is so always make sure your butter is quite softened because it will take longer to get the mixture right if not.Also once I added the egg that really helped a lot with making the mixture more creamy.

I gradually added all the dry mix and the dough was very moist/ sticky, which was kinda of difficult to mold into a large ball without it sticking to you. I just cut some saran wrap, place on the counter and plot the dough on top. Then wrapped it and slightly molded into a ball along with flatten it. Or you can very easily flour your hands and mold into a ball and wrap it.Now it was the waiting game placing in the fridge for chilling and about 2 hours makes it very firm, which is best.

Once the dough was chilled I took small portion of the dough to roll out to about 1/4 thickness( be sure to place remaining dough in fridge and once done with small portion, repeat again).I then cut my cookies with the top of a glass a little bigger then the cookie/cupcakes stencils I was using.  (You can use a 3 inch cookie cutter if you have one)

I continue to then decorate my cookies. For me I used the basic colors of coarse sugar for holiday theme red and green from jars. I also combined those color for a mixed festive colors to bring some effective colors to the trees, stars, bows etc. For a few of my snowman I used white sugar;however It didn't come out as effective as coarse sugar, but it left a nice simmering glaze and outline.It look as though the snowman was glimmering at me.Near closer to the end of the batches I started to add more effects like snow in the trees, face/outfit details for the gingerbread man and larger sprinkle to other shapes

The stencils I used were Wilton Christmas themed that my mom gave me as an early Christmas present so I could use them for this month. I really love that these stencils for cookies/ cupcakes because they are reusable and there pretty simple to decorate with.These stencils can be found at Winner's, Micheal's and I guess any store with a baking area.For some helpful tools for decorating the cookies have on hand a couple spoons for sprinkling, toothpick to fix any errors and bowls to mix colors.These ideas really helped me especially with trying to fixed errors.

Place about a dozen cookies each time on a ungreased cookie sheet and bake until lightly brown around edges.For me I watched them very carefully because they are very thin cookies. Let cookies cool for about a minute until harden before placing them on a rack. (These are very fragile cookies). Once cooled completely place them in airtight container or a cookie jar. For me I got about 4 dozen cookies all together and about 1 dozen more then the recipe approximated :D

When completely cook, I try out one cookie and it tasted simply sweet with a great hint of cinnamon. It was flaky, crunchy and everything I remember a sugar cookie to be as a child. I love the added spice to these cookies, which I have never had till now. I highly recommend this recipe because its simple, versatile and you just cant go wrong with sugar cookies for the holidays

Stay tune for more Holiday recipes!

What I Did:
  • Used Wilton Christmas Stencil (pack of eight)

Christmas Sugar Cookies (Adapted from holiday Sugar Cookies, Debbie Mumm's Old fashion cookies)
Printable Version
Yield 4 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Colored Coarse sugar and sprinkles

1.Cream butter and sugar in large bowl, medium speed ( Be sure to have soft butter, cutting in small pieces help beating).

2. Once mixture is creamy, add egg and beat until light and fluffy.

3. Stir in flour,baking powder, salt and cinnamon until combined.Shape dough into a ball. (dough will be very soft/ sticky, that is normal) Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and flatten. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm

4.Cut a small portion of  the dough. Lightly flour your work surface and roll your portion to about 1/4 thickness ( Any width you want is perfectly fine, just know will be less then 3 dozen). (Keep remaining dough in the fridge to be kept chill until you need to use it)

5.Cut dough with a 3 inch cookie cutter ( or use any size glass top, I used a glass just a little smaller then the cookie stencils I used).Place Christmas stencils on a cut cookie and decorate with coarse sugar  
( red and green are main colors for these stencils) Decorate any way you wish. If you like my ideas read this blog post. Repeat with remaining dough

7. Place on a ungreased cookie sheet (about a dozen on a sheet each time) This dough for me made about 4 dozen however depending on size of cookie.

8. Bake 7-9 minutes until edges are light browned ( Keep an eye on this cookies). Cool cookies for about 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack. (These cookies are very fragile)

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