I have been sewing up a storm lately. The problem is, it’s all Christmas presents for people who read my blog, so I can’t share! But one day a little while ago Brad and I were actually off work on the same day (which is quite a rare thing around here), so we decided to bake and decorate some Christmas cookies.
Lottie loved helping to cut out the shapes.
(Brad loved that too… if we’re being completely honest here.)
We took a little break to light the menorah (because it’s fun to teach our kids about other cultures).
And then it was on to the decorating. There wasn’t much to it. Some buttercream frosting and sprinkles. But it was oh so fun.
A few days later I made up another batch to decorate all pretty. As soon as I got out the cookie cutters Lottie came running asking to cut out a circle. Before it was time to decorate (or “color cookies” as Lottie says) the girls went to bed. While I loved decorating with them, I was excited to do my own thing. This time I used glacé icing to make them shiny and smooth.
My favorite tools when I’m using this icing are these great little decorating bottles from the Pampered Chef. It’s so hard to set down a piping bag full of this semi-runny (or very runny, if you’re flooding) icing.
I had one for each color I was working with. I love that I can set them down and the icing doesn’t run! Love!
Here’s my favorite sugar cookie recipe if you’re in the mood to bake this season. Because really, who isn’t in the mood to bake during the Christmas season?
1 C butter
1 C sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 t almond extract
3 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and extract and mix just ’til combined.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add a little at a time to the butter mixture until it is all incorporated.
At this point, most recipes would tell you to place in fridge for 1-2 hours to chill, then roll. Here’s my favorite tip for sugar cookies: Split into two equal balls. Roll each one in between two layers of parchment paper, then put them in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Seriously, when choosing between two hours or twenty minutes before you can cut and bake, I’ll take 20 minutes any day.
Cut out your shapes and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Don’t let them start to get brown around the edges (unless you like crisp sugar cookies, then go ahead). If you take them out when you think they’re still not quite done, they will be perfect. Cool on baking sheet for about 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool before frosting.
Tip #2: When you’ve cut out all you can from one slab of dough, roll out the extras between your two layers of parchment and stick it back in the fridge while the first batch bakes. Then take it out and cut your next batch of shapes… they will hold their shape in the oven so much better if they’re a little chilled.