My favorite Christmas baking project is cookies. I love sugar cookies. Boring I know, but they taste so darn good. And I make perfect sugar cookies, if I do say so myself. I went out and got new cookie sheets this year. Four of 'em with just a raised handle on two sides. And of course I had to get cookie cutters too.
My cookie recipe is super easy. The key to this is to make sure the dough stays cold or it gets too soft to work with. So once you've cut out your cookies, put the scraps into the fridge to get cold again, you may have to wait a while though.
Once the cookies are baked, the fun begins. I love Toba Garrett's glace icing. This stuff is super easy to make, dries hard and shiney, and it tastes INCREDIBLE! You can add whatever flavor you want. My favorite is almond extract and I use that almost exclusively. I've made it before with lemon juice and it turned out great and I have aspirations of trying it with peppermint extract for the hubbin. Pick your favorite flavor, but I would suggest going for a clear flavoring otherwise it will mess with your colors. The only drawback to this recipe is that you can't get very detailed. I know a lot of people use this to cover the cookie since it tastes so yummy, and do the detail work with royal icing since it can be piped. I bought me a big ol' jar of sugar pearls to go with the other sprinkles and sugars to decorate the cookies, but lots of candies would be cute too.
This isn't exactly a quick project. Day #1-mix up dough and stick in fridge. Day #2-bake cookies. Day#3+- Decorate. Day #4-box up. It's important to give these things a good 12 hours for the icing to set up completely.
And now the picutures!
My very favorite of all of them-the snow man. The eyes are black sprinkles from the jar I use when I make Rice Krispie treats. The nose is an orange ice cream sprinkle. So yes, this project totally included using tweezers and I LOVED IT!
The lazy man's tree- Star shaped sprinkle and the round ones that match the snowman's eyes.
Other trees with sugar pearls-
Ornaments and trying to be artistic-The rejects- These are cookies with icing that ended up running over the side. I handed them out to my students during their finals, so the cookies still went to a goood cause.I'm planning on making more cookies in my time off work, so I should add some more photos.
Have a wonderful Holiday season!