>> Tuesday, December 11, 2007
So I have been doing a lot more baking these days than blogging. I get this sort of itch when days have gone by and I have not posted anything new, especially if I have a lot of beautiful baked goods to blog about. There's just not enough hours in the day this time of year for me! So here is my attempt at blogging during this crazy month of holiday preparation.
Cookies, cookies, cookies! My freezer is filled to the rim with cookies! What says Christmas better than cut out cookies? Not much if you ask me. Here is a wonderful simple sugar cookie recipe with a hint of orange and vanilla. The dough rolls out beautiful and the cookies stay true to form after they are baked.
And if you want them to look even more christmasy (is that a word??) you can cut out even smaller shapes and melt some hard candy for a stained glass effect. It reminds me of going to church on Christmas eve, and I don't even go to church on Christmas eve!
Basic Decorative Cookie Dough
adapted from Tish Boyle, The Good Cookie
3 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Whisk together flour and salt and set aside.
with electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and orange zest and beat until smooth. Add flour a little at a time and mix just until incorporated, be careful not to over mix. wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets or use parchment paper.
roll dough out to 1/4 inch on lightly floured surface. Cut dough using cookie cutters of your choice. When cookie sheet is full I put it back in the refrigerator to chill for 10 more minutes. This help it retain whatever shape you chose to use.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on size of cookie, until pale golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely before decorating.
If you want to do the stained glass cookies crush or chop hard candy of your choice (I used Jolly Ranchers cinnamon flavor hard candy). Fill cut outs in with candy before you bake (be careful not to over fill or the candy will go up onto cookie) and bake as directed. Let cool completely on baking sheet so the candy has time to harden up again.