I made Christmas cookies this year. The last time I made cookies was in 1995. I still have my post about that titled: Rookies at Christmas Cookies. Anyway, my daughter said she wanted to make some this year. KokoD also said he wanted to do, and so I said okay. I warned my two kids that they mustn't run off half way and leave mommy to finish everything. Well, they didn't run off half-way. They ran off 1/4 way. Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses came on tv and I guess that was more interesting.
Anyway, if you want to try your hand at making Christmas cookies, here are 2 recipes for you. Before you start, here are a few baking tips:
When you roll out the dough to cut into the different shapes, make sure it is not too thick. I would say about 2mm thick is okay. The thinner it is, the crunchier. Plus. it'll cook faster too.
Don't have to mix the ingredients too long. I remember the baking workshop I went to, they said over-mixing will allow gluten to form (like bread dough). You don't want chewy cookies.
Don't have to wait until the cookies are brown before taking them out of the oven. You may have to experiment in the beginning how long your cookies take to cook in your oven. Mine is a small one and I had to take the cookies out after 5 minutes. But I believe the normal practice is 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Refrigerate your dough for 2 hours or more before you start working on them. You could also make them today, and bake tomorrow.
Put your cookies on a baking sheet when you bake. If not they will stick to your tray. I used aluminum foil. That works too.
Before you start to cut your dough into shapes, get ready a bowl of flour. You'll need to sprinkle some on your cutting board and dust your roller. You'll also need to dust your hands too so the dough don't stick.
You can use frosting to decorate the cookies. But I find it easier to just decorate it with different sprinkles before popping it into the oven.
Okay, now for the recipes:
BUTTER COOKIES(SUGAR COOKIES)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter (soften)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (if you want to reduce this a bit also can)
Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Then add this dry ingredients into the mixture. Put dough into the fridge before cutting it.
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
4 tsp ginger powder
4 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
In one bowl, premix the dry ingredients (ginger powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, salt, baking powder, flour). Use an electric mixer to mix the butter and sugar. Add in the egg. Then pour in the pre-mix of dry ingredients. Refrigerate the dough.
And so, after collapsing from exhaustion (it took me almost 4 hours to finish 2 batches of cookie dough -- I need a bigger oven!), they are ready to be given away as Christmas gifts. Of course I left some for the kids to eat. Every time I burnt some cookies they were happy coz' they get to eat those. Hahaha. Anyway, my packaging not so fancy. Just a plain plastic bag with a green ribbon. I think I'll improve on that next year.
Well, if you have the energy, make some Christmas cookies to giveaway. It's a great Christmas activity to do with the kids, BUT just expect to do most of the work :)