Christmas means cookies!
Among other things of course…Christmas is the season of giving, a time for friends, family, and decorating. It’s also a time for making wonderful memories and eating delicious food, like…cookies!
I have a collection of cherished recipes that I make during the holidays. I was gifted a wonderful collection of family Christmas cookie recipes from my maternal grandmother. The book is filled with cookie and bar recipes that were handed down from my great grandmother to my grandmother, to my mother and now to me. I look forward to some day handing down this book of cookie recipes to my daughter for her to cherish and to continue the cookie tradition in her family.
Along with making family cookie recipes that have been handed down during Christmas, I have also collected some of my own favorites which my family looks forward to having this time every year. I love that this is the one time of year that these recipes are made and enjoyed. Everyone in my family eagerly anticipates the Christmas cookie season because they know it only comes once a year. There is something special about sitting beneath a glowing Christmas tree with a steaming cup of cocoa and a wonderful assortment of Christmas cookies. It’s definitely a cherished childhood holiday memory for me.
It seems as though no matter how old the kids get, the one cookie recipe they love to help me with is the Sugar Cookie. As small children, I remember the way their faces lit up when they successfully cut their cookie dough in the shape of their choice. Once the cookies were baked, I remember the frosting and sprinkle fiesta that would take place in the kitchen. Each cookie was a masterpiece! Now, as older children, they still light up when they successfully transfer their cookie dough shape on to the cookie sheet without changing it’s shape and the frosting and sprinkle decorating has been taken to a new level. By the end of the evening, we’re sure we could open up a cookie store and be very successful. It’s doubtful, but it’s always good to dream.
I hope you and yours enjoy these cookies as much as my family does. They taste delicious, but for me, it’s the time we spend together in the kitchen to make them which makes Christmas cookies one of my favorite traditions during holidays.
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup salted butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar (for rolling out dough)
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat to combine. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Sprinkle the surface where you are rolling out the dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from the refrigerator at a time, sprinkle the rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Place the shapes at least 1-inch apart on a greased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the cookies just begin to brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Allow cookies to cool for 3 minutes after removing them from the oven and then move to a wire rack to continue to cool completely. Serve as is or ice as desired.
Note: Move the dough around frequently when rolling out and cutting shapes to ensure that it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, put it back in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to re-chill before trying to roll out again.
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
In a large bowl combine egg whites, vanilla, and lemon juice until frothy. Add confectioner’s sugar gradually and mix with an electric mixer on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Add food coloring of desired. Transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using a storage bag, clip corner.
Frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.