Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas cookie ninja: frosted sugar cookies

This year, our kitchen (aka: moi) didn't churn out the usual 60-plus dozen cookies - there just wasn't enough time. Making fewer Christmas cookies means careful editing. An opportunity!

For me, the rolled sugar cookie best encapsulates Christmas cheer. You can decorate however you want: super simple or funky fancy. I like vibrant frosting colors and fun sprinkles, personally. It gives the cookies a certain allure, and almost guarantees they'll disappear ahead of other types of cookies.
Use a toothpick to move around and swirl the frosting
What you need:
  •     1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  •     2 cups white or cane sugar
  •     4 eggs
  •     1 tsp vanilla extract
  •     5 cups all-purpose flour
  •     2 tsp baking powder
  •     1 tsp salt

To make:

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (my preference) or silicone pad.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Underbake vs. overbake so the bottom and edges aren't too browned. Cool completely before frosting.

  •     1 cup confectioners sugar
  •     2 tsp milk (plus more to thin out frosting)
  •     2 tsp light corn syrup
  •     1/4 tsp almond extract

Mix ingredients together until very smooth, adding a bit more milk as desired to thin it. This batch will be enough for at least half of the cookies. I divide it into four or five little containers to color each, and leave one white. This frosting dries quickly, so I usually just do two batches and mix up new colors.

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