HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I hope you have been enjoying your holidays. We sure have.
We actually still are. Have you taken down your Christmas Tree and put away your decorations? We haven't. In my world, the first day of Christmas is Christmas Eve (not the day after Thanksgiving). And the 12th day of Christmas is January 5th. Today is Epiphany and marks the day the wise men met the Christ child and bestowed Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. After today, my Christmas season will be over.
I finally got my camera back from the shop and what is the first thing I photographed? Christmas Cookies. My camera had to have its aperture control unit replaced (for the second time) and I have only had it for two years. Meanwhile, it went on quite an adventure--two local places, then on to Arizona, then Connecticut, and finally back home. It now seems perky, clean, and ready to go.
Once our favorite girl was out of school for the holidays, she came and spent a few days with us so we could bake cookies. The first one was a basic sugar cookie. She did all the measuring and mixing, I just supervised. While the dough was mixing, we made a mixture of sugar and red sprinkles to roll them in.. I scooped out the dough, then she rolled it into balls and then into the sugar. Perfect job for little hands.
We made more cookies and goodies than what is shown here, but they have been eaten/given away by now.
She kept telling me she wanted to make shape cookies, so shape cookies it was. Once again, she measured and mixed and I supervised. We made a cookie dough which can be rolled out right away without needing to be chilled. We rolled it out on sheets of parchment (she is also getting quite accomplished with the rolling pin) and slipped the sheets onto the baking pan.
Easier cutting is achieved if the dough is chilled after it is rolled out. We just sat a pan of dough outside for a few minutes while we rolled out the next batch. Once the dough is chilled, it cuts beautifully, with sharp edges.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg, vanilla, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing until combined after each addition.
Divide dough into thirds and roll onto a piece of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick. No need to flour the parchment, but you may need to lightly flour the rolling pin to avoid sticking. Slide the parchment onto a baking sheet and chill 20 to 30 minutes for easier cutting.
Cut into desired shapes right on the sheet pan, then peel away the excess dough, which can be re-rolled. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. The cookies will remain blonde but be set. Let cool completely before removing from the trays and decorate as desired.
Peanut butter cookies are my personal favorite. Once again, I scooped and she rolled into balls and then into sugar for a little extra sweetness and sparkle. She had a little trouble with the crisscross fork marks and asked me to finish. I suspect she was over it and wanted to get back to her Barbies.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In mixing bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar. Beat well until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
Add flour and stir until combined.
Roll dough, by tablespoons, into balls, then roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten balls with a fork using a crisscross pattern.
Bake 10 - 12 minutes.