I will not pretend to be a baker. As most of you who have read some of my other blogs might remember, I am the anti-baker. But, like with anything in the kitchen, I continue to try, try, try, and eventually I am determined to find success! Around this time of year, I always think of my best friends mom, spending all day rolling and cutting and decorating Christmas cookies in her kitchen. These days, we go through tubs of homemade cookies that my sister-in-law hand makes as well. This year I attempted to make some myself. Here is the Basic Sugar Cookie recipe I used, with a few creative changes in flavor and color at the end. (And all without a KitchenAid may I add! Santa, are you listening?)
Basic Sugar Cookies
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Assorted decorating materials (food coloring, sprinkles, icing, your choice!)
Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and beat, then the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add it 1/4 at a time to the sugar and butter mixture, using the electric mixture at low speed.
Roll into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the dough out and roll in 1/4 inch thick sheet. Cut into your favorite holiday shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown on the edges. Let cool and then decorate!
I was so pleasantly surprised with what a little determination left me in these holiday cookies. Although I felt like a new born baker, following the recipe step by step (or teaspoon by teaspoon!), it was all worth it. My husband said they tasted just like the ones his mom used to make 🙂
As you can see from my photos, I branched out adding almond flavor and coating some in red and green frosting (like Sandra Lee), swirling by layering red and white dough (spiked with hot chocolate mix) then slicing and baking like Bobby Deen, and classically sprinkling with crushed candy canes.
I hope my holiday cheer has inspired your own risk taking in the kitchen. ‘Tis the season for joy and jolly eating that will hopefully keep you laughing and bouncing like a bowl full of jelly! Happy Holidays!
Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian