On the 9th day of Christmas…our friends Amy and Brad invited us over for a holiday/cookie-decorating party. They throw the best parties with the most delicious and deceptively lethal cocktails, so there was no way that Dan and I were going to miss out on this one! Plus, they asked me to make the cookies for decorating, so…just call me Tina the Cookie Elf.
I was originally supposed to make sugar cookies and gingerbread men for the party, but between truffle-making and oil-infusing, I didn’t have time to start baking until Saturday morning. And, the problem with both sugar cookies and gingerbread men is that you’ve got to chill the dough and then roll it out over and over again so that you can individually cut out fun shapes for baking. Adorable end product, huge pain in the butt to make.
So in the end, I only had time to make sugar cookies. But, because Amy was kind enough to lend me her cookie cutters, I was able to make lots of sugar cookies in multiple cute shapes: snowmen, stars, stockings, and Xmas trees. And they turned out nicely, if I may say so myself — crunchy on the outside, soft/chewy on the inside, not too sweet, and not too browned. I don’t usually enjoy cookies unless chocolate is involved, but I actually liked these a lot, especially when they were frosted.
Amy provided plenty of colored frosting, candy, and sprinkles for cookie decorating, so we all went kind of nuts. Dan mainly just smeared his cookies with chocolate frosting and “decorated” them with as many Rollos as he could get on top, while Brad chose to go non-denominational with his decorating. Another friend frosted a snowman with chocolate icing and gave him a green Hawaiian shirt. Amy and I kept things a little more traditional, and I think our cookies turned out looking pretty good, don’t you?
Christmas Sugar Cookies (Slightly adapted from the Pastry Affair’s recipe)
– 1-1/2 sticks margarine
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 2 eggs
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp salt
(1) Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with wax paper.
(2) In a large mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
(3) Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
(4) Beat in the vanilla.
(5) Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until well combined.
(6) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up the dough.
** If you’re impatient like me, divide your dough into two pieces, wrap them individually and stick them in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then, pull one out and get to work while the other one continues to chill. When the first piece is all rolled out and shapes have been cut out, lump the scraps back into a ball, re-wrap, and stick back in the fridge. Keep alternating between your dough until it’s all used up!
(7) Roll out your dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out the cookies using cookie cutters.
(8) Bake cookies for 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie.
(9) Cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.