Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Cookies

For the cutout cookies, you will need:
cookie cutters
1 package of sugar cookie mix(I like Betty Crocker's)
1 stick of salted butter(to help cancel out some of the sweetness)
1 T of flour
1/2 tsp of orange extract
1 egg

For the icing you will need:
3 egg whites
about 3-3 1/2cups of powdered sugar
some water to control consistency
You will also need an assortment of GEL food coloring, some parchment paper, a large cookie sheet, disposable cups/spoons for easy clean up, and disposable piping bags. DON'T FORGET ABOUT THOSE TOOTHPICKS AND COOKIE CUTTERS!! :)

Follow the instructions for the cutout cookies on the packaging(just mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl). Make sure you use salted butter and add the orange extract for a more homemade taste. Once combined, divide dough into two discs and chill in fridge for a few hours(overnight is okay too).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Once chilled take the dough out(one at a time to keep it cold) and place on a WELL floured surface. Take a floured rolling pin and roll it out to at least a 1/4 inch thick. Take your cookie cutter and lightly tap it into your flour before cutting out your shapes. Using a flat spatula, quickly but carefully remove the cutouts and place onto cookie sheet. If you wish, you may decide to remove all the excess dough first before removing the cutouts onto baking whichever is faster for you.

Take all the scraps and bring them together to form a ball. Place it on a piece of parchment paper and use your palm to flatten it out. Take your floured cookie cutter and repeat steps. And remember at this point, your dough has softened so it's much easier to remove the excess dough around the shape and then place it onto baking sheet.

Bake until edges have turned slightly browned. Remove from oven allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing and placing on wire rack to cool.

To make the icing beat your egg whites until frothy. Add your powdered sugar about a cup at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Have a little water on hand just in case it gets a little too thick for you.

Divide icing into plastic cups and add whatever food coloring you wish. FYI food coloring darkens as it sits so if you're picky about your colors and are trying to impress, you may want to play around with these a head of time.

Place icing into disposable bags making sure you get all of the air bubbles out. Make a very small cut at the tip of the bag with scissors or you may use a small rounded cake decorating tip for more intricate work. Make sure you twist the top tightly while your icing the cookie and keep applying pressure as you go along!

Okay now, grab a cookie...AND START DECORATING!! But don't forget the most important thing....HAVE FUN!! :)

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