Baking Christmas cookies.Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I have a certain fondness for Christmas cookies. I remember the cookie plates being brought out after Christmas dinner every year at my Grandma's house, and begin so full of food, but still grabbing a cookie, because it was Christmas and they were delicious. I remember joining in on baking day, starting in junior high, spending hours mixing dough, forming balls, dipping in chocolate, frosting sugar cookies, sprinkling color sugar - and I remember the sugar high and crash that would often follow baking day, because I definitely had to make sure the cookies tasted good!
I haven't been able to be a part of baking day at my Grandma's house for a few years, and I miss the tradition, which is probably what prompted me to go a bit overboard and make dozens of cookies yesterday. I had planned on making three different kinds, just enough to put together a few plates to take to the neighbors. But then, by the end of the day, I had baked 5 kinds of cookies…ending up with dozens upon dozens of cookies. I laughed at myself, because I sure am my mom's daughter, and my grandma's granddaughter!
I made frosted sugar cookies (saving a few for the kids to do!), Sally Ann's, oreo truffles, peanut-butter reese's/rolo cookies, & spritz cookies. All tried and true favorites - reminding me of family and love and Christmas. They all turned out great, and I am excited to share with neighbors/friends later this week. I haven't figured out a cute way to wrap them up, but am making a trip out to the store later, so maybe inspiration will hit before then.
I got a lot of comments on IG, asking about the Sally Ann cookies, so I figured I'd go ahead and share all the recipes.
Sally Ann's are a type of ginger cookie - soft, chewy ginger-molasses cookie with a crisp icing on top. Max grew up with them, and loves them, so I make them for him. I found this recipe a few years ago, and he says they taste just like he remembers! They are a bit tedious to roll out, cut and bake, and then the frosting takes a bit of time to make, but they really are so, so good! Totally worth the work!
I got the oreo truffle recipe here. Easy and quick to put together - the most tedious part is dipping the balls into the chocolate. This year, I made a plain batch, and a mint batch. I sprinkled green sugar on top of the mint ones, to differentiate.
The peanut butter reese's/rolo cookies were made from this recipe. We had a package of mixed candies, so some cookies have reese's and some have rolo's in them.
I used a spritz recipe from my mom, but this one is very similar, except that I added 1/2 tsp of baking powder to my dough. We did some white stars, and some green trees in our cookie press. The kids had a blast sprinkling/dumping sugar on top before baking.
And finally, I made frosted sugar cookies, using my Grandma Marilyn's recipe. It's my absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe, and I grew up requesting them many times!
Frosted sugar cookies
(makes 2 dozen)
1/2 c butter
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar together. Add milk/baking soda mixture & vanilla to butter/sugar, and beat together. Beat in egg. Add flour and salt, and mix. You can either roll out the dough, or chill until ready. Once ready, you roll out dough, and cut out shapes. Bake at 350 degrees, for 8-11 minutes. Cool on rack.
For the frosting, I usually just throw the ingredients in a bowl and mix, so here is a recipe that is similar to what I use. This year, I just used white frosting, and added color sprinkles to the cookies.
How about you? Do you like baking Christmas cookies? What are your favorites? What are you baking this year?