Holiday Cookies

I am in a very serious stage with my research paper with submission date closely creeping around the corner. But I am enjoying every bit of this process, and all its forms of self-doubt. It’s somehow liberating, really.:)

Once I grabbed hold of a solid routine, I began using my breaks for things that I enjoyed doing (like baking!). I baked these cookies on two separate nights; the first night I ate half the batch, so that was good news recipe wise, then I had to result to making more if I wanted a substantial number to decorate. They were so delicious and easy to make that I think decoration was a part of a larger excuse. 😛

I make butter cookies almost yearly, but I always find and use different recipes. I think it’s difficult finding one good recipe, without trying a few, but due to time-constraints, I could not afford chilling time. So I found a recipe on Pinterest that didn’t call for that and it was an easy decision to make. It was truly a simple recipe to follow with few ingredients and little bake time.

I love the subtle taste of butter in these cookies. It’s not so overpowering. They also rise up in the oven and hold perfectly their shape, which is ideal when it comes to decorating them. And in fact, I really enjoyed the decoration part. It was great fun!

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Holiday Cookies

Total time: 25 min (with bake time)

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. genuine vanilla extract (never imitation)
  • ½ tsp. almond extract (never imitation)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer use the paddle attachment to beat the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  3. On medium speed, beat in the egg, vanilla, almond extract, baking powder and salt.
  4. Measure the flour correctly (see note) and add to the mixer 1 cup at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
  5. Don’t chill the dough!!! Divide it into two balls and roll out to exactly ¼” thick on a clean piece of parchment paper using just enough flour on your rolling pin to prevent sticking. (I suggest a rolling pin with measuring disks.) Because you are not using much flour to roll the dough out you can continue to roll it out as many times as needed until all the extra is used up.
  6. Line cookie sheets with clean parchment paper space out cookies on sheets with enough room to rise. Bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes. The cookies will not be browning at all. They will be dead white but look set.
  7. As each pan of cookies is done I recommend gently lifting the parchment paper holding the cookies out of the pan and setting it on a cooling rack or allowing cookies to cool on baking sheets. Do not disturb the cookies until cool and set.

Lessons Learned: There were no lessons learned here. Shocking, I know. But I just followed the recipe and they turned out great!

Recipe taken from: http://mirlandraskitchen.com/sugar-cookies/

Icing 
Total time: 7 minutes
Recipe
Ingredients
  • 2lb (907g) bag of powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (150g) meringue powder
  • 1 cup water, minus 1 tablespoon

Process

  1. Add in the meringue powder and water into your mixing bowl and beat together for a few minutes until frothy.
  2. Add in the confectioners sugar and mix together slowly until all the liquid and the sugar is combined.
  3. If you have a stand mixer set it at a medium high speed and beat it together for 4 minutes with the paddle attachment. You want it to have semi-stiff peaks when the icing is ready, not floppy peaks! If the icing is not quite stiff enough then watch closely and beat for one more minute or until ready.
  4. Icing (not thinned) made with meringue powder can be kept on the counter top for a week or so, it may require a little remixing after a day or two if the water has separated on the bottom of the bowl.

Lessons Learned: Nope, none. It was a fault-free baking night for me, which is rare.

Enjoy

Recipe taken from: http://www.teabiscuit.org/royal-icing-cookie-decorating/

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