Operation Christmas Cookies began about two weeks ago. Today, finally, I hope, I’ve baked the last of the Christmas cookies. Baked, being the operative word here. Out of the 30+ dozen that have been baked, approximately 15 dozen have to be decorated. At the beginning of this project I had high hopes for more elaborate decorations than years past. Without fail it’s at this point that I am so totally all in and bone tired that I’m happy to just have them baked and however minimal the embellishments are, so be it.
Yes fatigue is speaking now and in the morning I may feel differently. I really do want to step up my cookie decorating game. Perhaps that’s too ambitious of a goal considering I’m not done shopping yet, and that I have to get ready for a family party Christmas Eve, and the chaos that’s known as all the kids will be home. My family will not care what the cookies look like or weather the turkey is golden brown, or the stockings are hung perfectly. These are lofty expectations that I’ve set for me.
Now that the semester has ended, I have three weeks before it all starts again. No papers to grade, workouts to plan, or attendance to take. Thank you Jesus! This gives me a couple more days a week to stress about what I haven’t done yet. My dear darling husband told me that my relentless and resistance to medicine headaches were probably induced by stressing over the holidays. Once again he may have a point.
Without a doubt this is the sappiest post I’ve produced and I do appreciate you listening. I just felt the need to have a brief pity party. Now on to the recipe.
Although I make the same beloved sugar cookie each holiday, I decided to toss in another one. There are a cazillion variations on the standard and the taste decibels are within close range. This one is the Deluxe Sugar Cookie recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker’s Christmas Cookbook. The difference in this one and the one I’ve been baking since Hector was a pup is using powdered sugar instead of granulated; and it yields a smaller batch. Another timesaver I discovered after having this cookbook for the last 20 years is the baked on decorator frosting. What a timesaver! And by the way, I don’t have the faintest idea who Hector is. That was one of my mom’s everyday sayings.
Deluxe Sugar Cookies
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
Mix powdered sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Heat oven to 375° . Divide dough into halves. Roll each half approx 3/16 inch thick on lightly floured cloth, board or good old countertop. Cut into desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake until edges are light brown, 7-8 minutes. Frost and decorate as desired. Makes 5 dozen 2-inch cookies.
Now for the wonderful frosting.
Baked-On Decorator Frosting- Mix 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup of softened butter until smooth. Stir in 1 ½ tsp hot water and, if desired, 2-3 drops of food coloring. If frosting is too thick add a ¼ tsp of water at a time until it reaches piping consistency. Place in decorator’s bag with #3 writing tip. Outline, write or make designs on unbaked cookies, and bake as directed in recipe. Enough for 2-3 dozen cookies. Why did it take so long for me to discover this? Better late than never I guess.