Snowman Cookies….

Here is yet another decorating variation.  They’re very simple to do.  Use the Butter Cut Out Cookie recipe below.  Make a simple icing with powdered sugar.  For the hat, melt 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 second increments and stir between until the chocolate is just melted.

1)  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Dip the snowman hats into the melted chocolate and place on the lined cookie sheet.  Allow the chocolate to set up. 
2)  Ice the cookies with a simple powdered sugar icing.  (if you scroll down on the post of this link you will find the icing recipe)
3)  Add mini chocolate chips for eyes and a smile and red and green M&Ms for buttons.
4)  It is best to let the cookies sit out overnight to set the icing.  This is helpful when packaging or transporting. 

Get the kids involved in this one, they’ll love it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Iced Pumpkin Sugar Cookies…..

I don’t know anyone who can pass up an iced sugar cookie!  I have made these cookies for years.   In fact, Jack and Chris remind me the minute October comes around that I need to make my pumpkin cookies.  I have the boys plop the candies on while I ice.  It goes very quickly and they LOVE to help!  I love the fact that there is no “piping” involved, too time consuming.  Ice the cookie with the orange, add the candies, and at the very end, do the stems. 

If you’re feeling generous, why not share with others?  Isn’t this a pretty package?  I alternate which way the cookies face in the bag to make it stay upright.
Here are a few cookie baking tips:

As always, flour your board.  Use 1-2 tablespoons and be sure to get some flour on the top of the dough as well.

After the dough has been chilled, it’s a bit hard to manage.  Use a small amount at a time.  Your first batch will be the hardest, don’t worry, it gets much easier once you’ve worked the dough.  Once you’ve cut out your first batch, remove the scraps from the floured board and add another chunk of the cold dough, knead into a ball and continue.

Utilize as much of the rolled out dough as possible.  Do not place dough onto a hot cookie sheet, they will start to bake.  Always line with parchment paper.  The cookies will never stick and you can cool them on the parchment as well.

I have cookie sheets that do not have sides.  This is extremely convenient while baking.  I slide the hot cookies right off the sheet and onto the cooling rack. (above)

This recipe is larger than most.  It will make about 68 good sized cookies.  You can keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Best Roll Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

2 cups sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, one pound at room temperature
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
7 ½ cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Icing (recipe below)

Orange gel food coloring (You can find at a craft store)
Green gel food coloring
Candy Corn
Chocolate chips
Cellophane bags for packaging (optional)
Raffia ribbon for packaging (optional)

1) In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy and add one half of the sugar, beat, then add the rest. Add two eggs and beat. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the remaining three eggs and vanilla, beat until nicely incorporated.
2) Lightly measure out flour into a separate mixing bowl. Add baking powder and salt, whisk until blended.
3) Add half of the flour mixture to the egg/butter mixture and beat well. Add remaining flour and blend until all ingredients are incorporated.
4) Shape into a large ball and wrap in plastic wrap, then put into a large zip bag. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.
5) When ready to bake, allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375’ and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Have cooling racks ready to receive hot cookies.
6) Cut off a chunk and begin working with your hands to make it pliable enough to roll out on a floured surface. Roll to 1/8” thickness. Cut out with your favorite shapes and place on prepared sheets, leaving at least 1” of space between cookies. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Cool for five minutes before removing from cookie sheet onto a rack. Cool completely before icing.

For icing:

6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
5-7 tablespoons water
Orange gel coloring
Green gel coloring

1) Measure powdered sugar into a medium size mixing bowl. Add vanilla and 5 tablespoons of water. Mix well until there are no lumps. Add additional water by the teaspoon to get a smooth, spreadable consistency.
2) Remove a couple of tablespoons of icing and put into a very small bowl. Add a small amount of green food coloring and mix well. Add about ¼ teaspoon of the orange to the rest of the icing, mix well. Add more if you want a more vibrant orange.
3) Ice each cookie with the orange icing and add decorations to each cookie as you ice. Add the green icing to the stems at the very end, after you’ve completed icing with the orange.   Makes about 5 1/2 dozen cookies.

Icing tips:

*Cover the icing with a damp towel when you’re not using to keep it from drying out.
*If the icing is running off the cookie because it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time, mixing between until the consistency is thicker.
*Have all decorations ready to go in small bowls so that when you ice the cookie, you can immediately put the eyes and smile on the cookie.
*Allow to air dry several hours or overnight. The icing will set up and you won’t have to worry about messing them up when packaging. These cookies travel very well but do not last long!

Santa Thumbprint Cookies

Ahhhhh, a butter cookie topped with some delicous raspberry preserves, what’s not to love?  I love this simple, old fashioned cookie. 

1 cup softened unsalted butter
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped nuts
¾ cup raspberry jam, or your favorite

1)  Preheat oven to 400’.  Cut a sheet of parchment paper to cover your cookie sheet.
2)  In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream butter, vanilla & sugar until light & fluffy.
3)  Combine flour and salt; add to butter mixture and blend well.
4)  Place nuts into a small bowl.  Shape dough into 1” balls and roll in nuts to coat.  Place on cookie sheet and press a divot with your thumb into the center of each cookie.
5)  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from heat and carefully slide the parchment with the hot cookies onto your cooling rack.
6)  Using a small spoon, carefully spoon about ½ teaspoon of jam into centers.  Cool completely.  I like to let these cookies sit out overnight for the jam to set.  Store in an air tight plastic container being careful not to disturb centers.