Christmas Sugar Cookies
I love baking cookies during Christmas. I love the smell of butter and sugar creaming, and nothing beats the smell of cookies coming out of the oven. I really could live in Christmas-ville! It has always been my favourite time of year. Growing up in Malaysia, I was out of school for the whole month of December and my mum used to take at least 2-3 weeks off during that time. So, I really am not used to working during the month of December! Sigh.
We have spent all week baking something after school Everyone is welcome during baking day(s) at The Dunns. I love having kids and friends around measuring flour, cutting out cookie shapes and icing them. I think it is more important to have everyone involved than have perfect cookies.
It relaxes you and puts everything in beautiful perspective. More than anything I love to bake with my boy – he has become quite a good baker and functions as kitchen help for the most part. This year, once again we had Leah bake with us, bringing her culinary school experience to us very simple bakers. Emily and Chelsie (from our College Age Community Group) joined us too. As well as Holten, Andrew’s little friend from school. Todd and his cute little Evan came by and Evan was fascinated by the flour and sugar measuring. All kids want to do is measure and essentially play with the ingredients!
At the end of the day, it is not about the cookies – it is about spending time with friends.
About This Recipe
This recipe was extremely simple and I snagged it from Leah (who got it from her Mom). We made the dough and spent several hours last night icing it – no 2 cookies looks the same. I think I got more icing on my clothes than on the cookie. The sugar cookie is delicious and does not really need the icing. I am pitiful when it comes to piping icing and decorating so, I stick to the simple dots and stars.
Ingredients For the Cookies
1 1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cup, all-purpose flour
Directions for the cookies:
Cream the butter and sugar and salt on medium speed until nice, lovely and creamy. Then add the vanilla and mix it well until it is well blended. Start adding the flour in gradually – while beating at a low-speed until it blends and is mixed in well. Note: Dough will be soft.
Divide the dough into 2 parts and wrap it with some plastic wrap. Flatten to disc and chill for 2 -24 hours. (we did 1 1/2 and the cookies were still perfect).
When ready to bake, just preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place one of the discs on a surface that is floured. Roll out the dough to around 1/4 inch thickness. Here is the fun part: Use whatever cookie cutters you have and cut out the shapes.
Place on a cookie sheet – I typically line my cookie sheet with parchment paper – totally up to you.
Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for around 14 minutes or so. If you have a Convection Bake oven, start at 8 minutes and keep checking it. The edges should be lightly browned. Cool the cookies when done.
Icing the Cookies
I did learn yesterday that this icing hardens so don’t make it ahead of time. Mix it up just before you start icing the cookies.
Ingredients and Directions:
Mix the following ingredients together.
- 6 cups powdered sugar (yes, lots of sugar)
- 2 Tablespoon meringue powder
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 6-8 tablespoons of water until desired consistency
We divided the icing into 3 little bowls and added red, blue, and green food coloring. I kept a portion of the white. We just decorating bags and piped halt the cookies – actually Leah did this.
I started just dipping my cookies in the sugar icing – hence the tie-dye look. You will have to let the icing harden before putting it away in containers. We had to leave a batch out overnight since I got carried away with my dipping and it had a thick layer of icing.
I hope you have fun making these cookies with friends and family. It is easy enough to involve the whole family in this.