Monday, January 30, 2012

Christmas Baking Part 2: Christmas Cookies

Alright so this is really the last of the Christmas themed posts since the holidays have been over for a month now! Every Christmas I love to make baked goods for my loved ones and my favorite thing to make is frosted sugar cookies! They're always so cute and festive and make me insanely happy! 

I've shared this cookie recipe with all of you before, but I'll put it up again. Also, I made a chocolate version of this recipe since my family doesn't really like gingerbread cookies. 

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6-8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. 
For the Chocolate cookies: Melt down about 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate and cream it with the butter and sugar before you add the eggs. 

This recipe is exactly as written from allrecipes with the only change made is an added teaspoon of vanilla extract. The directions for this recipe are fine, but I do like to do one more thing before I actually bake the cutout cookies. I like to let them chill again in the freezer for 30-60 minutes before baking. I feel that this helps the cookies retain their shape. Also to make cutting the cookies easier, dip your cutters in flour before making each cutout. 

Royal Icing 

  • egg whites from 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon of any clear flavored extract

I am very adamant about safe food handling procedures, so I scoured the internet to find information about the proper way to handle raw eggs whites in an icing recipe. Luckily I found wonderful information from here on how to handle egg whites properly. 
  1. In a double boiler or metal bowl placed over water in a saucepan, stir together the egg whites, half of the confectioner's sugar and the water. 
  2. Cook over low heat or simmering water, beating constantly with a portable mixer at low speed, until the whites reach 160 degrees F. 
  3. Pour into a large bowl and add the remaining sugar and clear extract and beat until you reach soft peak consistency. This is the consistency you'll use to pipe your borders, lines, dots, etc.

To color your icing: 
I like to use gel or paste food coloring for my icings or frosting. Gel food coloring is much more concentrated than liquid coloring and doesn't affect the consistency. Just add a little coloring at a time until you get the colors you want. 

To change the consistency:
To get a runnier consistency for filling spaces, simply add water a little at a time till you reach the consistency you want.

Extra Tips:
Don't let your icing sit out uncovered. I like to take a wet paper towel and cover the bowl until I'm ready to use more icing. 

Cute little stockings for Ai, her boyfriend, and their dog! 

Christmas stars! 

Snowmen and an ornament! 

Christmas presents and a wreath! 

Red nosed reindeer and Santa's sleigh! 

Snowflakes are my absolute favorite to make! 

So that's all for this week folks! Hope you go out there and make some of your own cute cookies! ♥  


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