Sunday, December 25, 2011

Cute Christmas Cookies

One post with two recipes? Yup, that's what this is. It's Christmas time, which means time for lots and lots and lots of cookies. Last year I made over 500 cookies in just the week of Christmas. This year I didn't make quite that many, but I still made plenty enough to share with you.

Cookie Number One: Sugar Cookies
The first recipe is for sugar cookies. I borrowed this recipe from Our Best Bites, and man they were delicious. My mom and I attempted to make icing but somehow ruined it, so the cookies remained plain and undecorated but even so the sugar cookies tasted quite delicious. I'm so grateful to have found this wonderful recipe. I shall never use another sugar cookie recipe again...especially since it only had an hour of chilling time, compared to the couple hours needed for my other standby recipe.

1 cup of real butter (2 sticks)
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (or almond, though I used all of my almond up making macaroons the other day)
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

First cream the softened butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes, using an electric mixer.
Next, add the egg and extract and mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. It will end up tasting so delicious...but unless you're doubling the recipe, try your best to avoid eating all the dough.
Now, cover the bowl with press and seal wrap or similar plastic covering. Then place it in the fridge to chill for an hour. (There's another trick for this step, but I didn't get a chance to try it that way).
When it's chilled, take the dough out of the fridge. If the dough is too crumbly, you probably measured something incorrectly but you can fix it by adding a bit of water. Don't add too much, though.
Now, roll it on a floured surface (using a rolling pin that has also been floured). Make shapes using cookie cutters and place them on greased cookie sheets.
Finally, bake for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

These ended up tasting so delicious. I will save this recipe and use it every time I need to make cookies. mmmmmm

Cookie Number 2: Peanut Butter Cookies
The second type of cookie is peanut butter cookies. I saw the design idea on Pinterest (which is a wonderful site if you haven't already visited it). I must be honest, I cheated. I used a pre-made package by Betty Crocker. But, for these cookies the point was to make them very cute. Which, if I do say so myself, I did manage to do.
To make these cookies, I first followed the instructions on the package. Before baking, I flattened them using a fork to make a crisscross pattern, then used my washed fingers to smooth the surface.
When they came out of the oven, I decorated them with cold candies. Half of them were thumbprint cookies using chocolate kisses.
The other half were reindeer cookies. Chocolate covered pretzels made perfect antlers, and M&Ms made the eyes and noses. They have to be refrigerated or frozen first to keep them from melting. This part is very important so don't forget...melted chocolate makes a terrible mess, so don't let it happen to you. You may, also, want to put the cookies in the fridge after you decorate them, in effort to help the candies set in the cookies.

These cookies ended up so adorable. I got several compliments for them. And they were super easy to make, to boot. These could easily be made in a dorm, assuming you have an oven. They're so cute and easy, I can't believe I haven't done it before.

Dorm Food

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