Sunday, December 5, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Day 13

Favorite Cookie Recipe

Today is actually our annual Christmas cookie baking! We bake sugar cookies, chocolate chip, m&m, and 7 layer bars. I don't have any super great recipes for these, because they are just your basic recipes, but I do have some other great cookie recipes to share!

1. Quick Candy Cookies
This is a Pioneer Woman recipe, and it is SO quick and easy, plus super yummy!

Refrigerator Cookie Dough
Miniature Chocolate Candies

Preparation Instructions:
Slice the cookie dough into 1 to 1 ½ inch slices. Lay the slices on their side and cut them into quarters. Place each quarter into a greased mini-muffin tin. Peel the wrapper from as many pieces of candy as cookies you’re going to make. (Don’t be afraid to try different combinations of candies and dough.)

Bake the cookie dough in a 350-degree oven for just a few minutes, about 6 to 8 at the most. You’ll want to take them out just when they start to turn golden.

Almost as soon as you pull the warm cookies from the oven, begin lightly pressing one piece of candy into each cookie. The warmer the cookies, the better. They’ll grab onto the pieces of candy and work their magic, making the candy nice and soft and melty. And ridiculous.

When they’re all done, carefully remove from muffin tins with a spoon and arrange on a nice decorative platter.

I like to use chocolate chip cookie dough with mini Reece cups!

2. Sugar Cookies
This sugar cookie + icing recipe is SO good. It sounds a little complicated, and takes a little while to bake, but they turn out really good. I've never made them for Christmas, but they would be perfect to use cookie cutters and cut out cute Christmas shapes!

1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly soft
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus as needed

For Decorating:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
About 1 tablespoon milk
Food coloring, if desired
Sprinkles, candies, cored sugar as desired

Whisk the egg and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.

With a hand held mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, add both sugars, and continue beating until light, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl again, if needed, then add the egg mixture, beating for about 1 minute. Sift the salt with the flour. Reduce the mixer to a low speed and then add the flour mixture, mixing just until blended.
Turn the dough out of the bowl. Divide the dough in half and place each half between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment or waxed paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a disk about 1/4-inch thick. Slide the dough/parchment sheet onto a flat cookie sheet, or on the back of a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

Evenly space the racks in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Place 1 disk of the cookie dough on a clean work surface and peel off the top sheet of paper. Cut cookies with a 1 1/2-inch round or a decorative shaped cookie cutter directly on the parchment. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined or non-stick baking sheet, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Repeat with other sheet of dough. Any excess dough can be re-rolled, refrigerated, and cut.

Bake until the edges of the cookies are a light golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

For decorating: Whisk the confectioners' sugar with just enough milk to make a thick icing. Transfer icing to a small plastic bag. Press the icing into a corner of the bag and snip off the corner with scissors to make a small opening. Gently press the icing onto the cookie to make a simple pattern. Decorate as desired. Set aside for about 1 hour to let the icing harden.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

I remember when I made these the icing seemed WAY too sweet for me right after I made it. However, it ended up being perfect once it cooled & hardened.

3. Pillsbury Cookies
For those of you who aren't big bakers, these cookies are super easy. All you have to do is put them on a cookie sheet & stick them in the oven. I LOVE the way they turn out - they are really, really good.

I think that's about all I have for today!

1 comment:

Kit said...

I heart sugar cookies and your recipe looks SO good!