Hello Lovelies! It's that time of year again...when my Christmas
cookie baking is in full swing. I bake a lot for the holidays
because a) a really enjoy it and b) cookies make wonderful and
inexpensive gifts. I have been asked several times this year for
some cookie recipe sugestions, so I am making a three part series
all about it. I started this years baking off with three recipies
I'd like to share:
Martha's Idea Sugar Cookies
Let's face it, no one does baking quite like Martha, dahling.
And although some of her recipes can get a little fussy, her
ideal sugar cookie recipe is a classic. I've used this recipe
for years and it always gets rave reviews.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl;
set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle
attachment, cream butter and sugar; mix until light and fluffy.
With mixer running, add egg, brandy, and vanilla; mix until well
combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add reserved flour mixture.
Mix until just combined.
- Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover
with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick
baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch
thickness. Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking
sheets, leaving an inch in between. Leftover dough can be rolled
and cut once more. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do
not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Decorate with Royal Icing, optional.
Yield: about 2 dozen
I always let my dough rest in the refidgerator over night to be
sure it is easy to work with. This recipe was orginally published
in The "Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook" cira
2003. You can find a copy
here at Amazon.
And, naturally, you've got to decorate these lovelies with
Martha's Royal Icing recipe.
1 box confectioners' sugar (1 pound)
5 tablespoons meringue powder, or 2 large egg whites
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle
attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed,
add a scant 1/2 cup water. For a thinner consistency, usually used
for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally
used for outlining and adding details. Mix until icing holds a
ribbonlike trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when
you raise the paddle.
- Tint with food coloring as desired.
Yeild: 2 1/3 cups
I use egg whites rather than meringue powder because that is
normally what I have on hand. After your cookies are iced, let them
sit out a bit before storing and the royal icing will become firm
Betty Crocker Thumbprint Cookies
Ahhh, Betty Crocker, oh how I love thee. I can always turn to
you for tried and true recipies likes these
tumbprint cookies. So delicious and festive, these buttery
short bread cookies are topped with a touch of jelly for flavor and
color. I like raspberry jelly, but you can choose your
Here is the recipe as it appears from Betty:
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg separated
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup finely chopped nuts
- Heat oven to 350ºF.
- Mix brown sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla and egg yolk in
medium bowl. Stir in flour and salt until dough holds
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Beat egg white slightly. Dip
each ball into egg white. Roll in nuts. Place about 1 inch apart on
ungreased cookie sheet. Press thumb deeply in center of each.
- Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove
from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Fill thumbprints with jelly.
Yield: about 3 dozen
I made a modification to this recipe and skipped the nuts and
egg wash. Rather, I rolled the chilled dough and use a small daisy
shaped cookie cutter to cut-out the cookies. Then I pressed the
center with a mellon baller, to give a nice round uniform dish, and
baked according to instructions.
Aunt Baby's Checkerboard Cookies
And finally, from Oprah, Aunt
Baby's Checkerboard Cookies. A pretty combination of chocolaty
and buttery flavors (really how could you go wrong with that),
these cookes are pretty simple to make and look lovely on a cookie
plate. Because of their square shape, they also pack and ship well
in the mail.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 envelope) nonfat dry milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or shortening , softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs , well beaten
2 Tbsp. cocoa
Note: For more colorful cookies, substitute red or
green food coloring for cocoa.
Sift together flour, dry milk, baking powder, and salt. Set
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and stir in vanilla.
Gradually add sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add well-beaten
eggs, blending until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until well
blended. Divide dough in half. Stir cocoa into one half, blending
well. Shape each half into a rectangle, about 2" x 2" x 6". Tightly
wrap in waxed paper. Chill at least 30 minutes.
Unwrap dough; cut each rectangle into quarters, lengthwise.
Alternately place dark and white quarters side by side to form
checker design. Rewrap in waxed paper and chill slightly.
Slice dough into 1/8-inch pieces and place on ungreased cookie
sheet. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.
Yield: about 5 dozen
as seen on the gypsys