Although Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas with out a little cookie decorating, I’ll tell you, I’m not the biggest fan. Not because I don’t like to make them, but my artistic abilities (the actual decorating/designing of the cookies) do not hold up to my cooking ability standards. But, what the heck, it’s Christmas and we’ve got to keep these traditions going, right? So, I conjured up a plan to ensure that I wouldn’t be the one really decorating the cookies, well at least not all of them! Haha!
First things first, I had to find some cookie cutters. When discussing my dilemma with my mom, she says, ‘Bummer, I just saw a ton of them a the dollar store for 99¢’. Well since that really can’t help me as I’m on a completely different continent, I had to improvise. I went to ‘sort-of-kind-of’ kitchen store nearby and found the one thing that looked remotely ‘Christmasy’ in the cookie baking section, but it actually turned out to be a grand idea! It’s a cookie stamp. I had never seen anything like it in my life, but it makes the cookies into a perfect circle while also imprinting a cute holiday decoration. Brilliant!
I was set; I had the kiddos from the family I lived with in Spain 2 years ago lined up to decorate half of the cookies and a cookie-decorating date with Jorge to complete the other half! The plan worked! Muahahaha! :)
Now all I had to do was bake 5 dozen cookies…
**Note: The recipe really does makes 60 cookies so feel free to cut it in half it you don’t want to be decorating cookies until New Year’s.
1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), softened
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 to 5 teaspoons milk
1 or 2 drops of vanilla
1 tablespoon butter, softened
First mix together, using mixer, butter and sugar until all clumps are gone. Then add eggs and vanilla to the mix. In a separate bowl I like to mix all other dry ingredients together to make sure everything gets nice and mixed. So, in separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Now slowly pour dry mixture into wet mixture and beat together until fully mixed.
Split mixture into two (as it is easier to work with) and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for at least an hour or two or overnight if you’d like.
Now comes the work! Take out your two massive balls of dough and let sit on the counter for a bit to become more pliable. Roll out your first ball of dough, making sure that your surface is well ‘floured’ and also that you cover your rolling pin and cookie cutters with flour. I’m telling you, flour is the key! Don’t be afraid of it, it will make everything so much easier and so much less sticky.
Roll out your dough so that it is about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. (I’m used to rolling the dough a bit thinner when using regular cookie cutters, but with the stamp the dough has to be bit thicker to work correctly.) And get to ‘stamping’ or cutting out your cookies.
Heat oven to 4oo degrees (200 Celcius)
Place cookies on cookie sheet (you can probably fit between 9-12 on a pan and bake for 6-8 minutes. Since my cookies were thicker, I had to cook them the full 8 minutes. Feel free to pull the cookies out before they start to turn golden brown as they may get a bit crunchy and not as much fun to decorate or eat.
Take out cookies and let cool on cooling rack or think baking cloth for at least 10 minutes.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until you’ve finished with all of your dough.
To make the frosting:
Using mixer, beat powdered sugar, milk (be very sparse with the milk as it will make your frosting very runny), vanilla, and softened butter. And there you have it, easy peasy.
I doubled the recipe so I could later color the frosting and add it to small ziplock bags for decorating purposes. I thought I was brilliant as I added the colored frosting to the ziplock baggies and cut a small hole in the bottom of the corner of the bag, but let’s just say the hole keeps getting larger and by the end you’ve got yourself a grand mess. We will definitely be buying the disposal decorating baggies with the actual decorating tips for next year.
Let cool, decorate, gift, and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Jill Saunders at AllRecipes.com
Recipe adapted from Cooks.com
Pictures from our Christmas Cookie Decorating Extravaganzas.
A special thanks to all of my helpers! :)
This is proof that you must use A TON of food coloring. It looks like we’re decorating easter cookies…don’t ask my where the pastel colors came from?!
Perfect combo: sugar cookies & milk! I think somebody is way more into eating the cookies than decorating them!
So excited to be decorating while watching ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’!
This is a ghost gingerbread man! We’re combining some holidays now. Maybe it’s the Ghost of Gingerbread Past? Interesting…could make a good movie! Haha!
Happy baking & decorating to you and yours!
Looking for more cookie recipes? Check out my Great Grandma Annie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies!