Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Christmas Cookies! Easy, Festive and Cost Saving!

Can you ever have too many Christmas cookies? I don't think so. They make great gifts for unsuspecting family, friends, and co-workers. Today I decided to make a basic soft sugar cookie recipe into three different types of cookies. The results were fantastic! We plan on enjoying these during our Beechy Christmas get-together.

Soft Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (omit vanilla if making three types of different cookies)
4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
Decorator sugars or favorite frosting

Combine sugar and butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs (and vanilla if using); continue beating until well mixed.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Reduce speed to low. Beat, adding flour mixture alternately with sour cream and scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Divide dough into four separate sections; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).

Cookie Type One: Candy Cane Cookies
Take 2 sections of above cookie dough.
Add 6-7 drops of red food coloring to one section and mix with hands (I wore rubber gloves)
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons peppermint extract to the "white dough"

Heat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness and shape into a rectangle. Keeping sections separate. Cut dough into thin strips (horizontally). Roll strips to equal length and thickness. Braid one strip of red dough and one strip of plain dough together. Pinch at ends. Curve to shape of a candy cane. Place several inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-9 minutes .
*Tipes: Work with cold dough and do not over flour your dough/work surface.

Also, I was worried about the food coloring effecting the taste of my cookies and therefore didn't add enough to get a deep red color. If you are may want to add more then 6-7 drops. :)

Cookie Type Two: Sparkle Christmas Bulbs
Portion of Soft Cookie Dough (from above)
Vanilla or Almond Extract
Red or Green sugar crystals (or other sprinkles)


Add 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract to a portion of dough from above. Shape into one inch balls (I recommend using a cookie scoop or melon baller). Roll in red or green sugar crystals.

Bake for 7-8 minutes in 400 degree oven.

Cookie Type Three: Thumb Print Cookies


Portion of Soft Cookie Dough (from above)
Chopped walnuts or almonds
Favorite jam or jelly

Shape dough into one inch balls (I recommend using a cookie scoop or melon baller). Roll in walnuts or almonds.

Using your smallest finger, create a "bowl" in the center of your cookie ball. Fill "bowl" with your favorite jam (I used raspberry because of its festive red color).

Bake for 8-9 minutes in 400 degree oven.

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