When our kids got into high school and older my girlfriend, Kathy, and I decided to get together all day and bake. This started about 5 years ago. The event turned into an ALL DAY holiday cooking extravaganza. We make cookies, cake dots, candy, and many other goodies. We then set out all of our goodies and package them! Then we are DONE with our gifts! One day of laughs and fellowship makes a mountain of holiday yummies! I highly encourage you to do this. We have failures in the kitchen. We create new recipes on the fly and even learn new cookie decorating tricks. All in all it is a blast and my kids beg that we make sure and get together! This year I turned it up a notch by making us official with Holiday Baking Team tshirts!
Here are some of our favorite recipes. Many of these appear on News9!
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
2-3 tsp flavoring (vanilla, almond, lemon)
2 3/4 cups. all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Cream together softened butter and powdered sugar. Mix in the egg and flavoring or your choice. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add flour slowly to the butter mixture. This dough is ready to be baked! No need to chill! Roll out or form the dough into 2 logs. Then roll the logs in the sprinkles of your choice.
Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 7 minutes or until golden brown.
Cookie Press Butter Cookies
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoon melted butter
Holiday sprinkles, colored sugars, maraschino cherry pieces, etc
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush baking sheet with melted butter and place the pan in the freezer to chill. In a large bowl of an electric mixer or use a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, flour, salt, vanilla and almond extract. Mix until a ball is formed.
Remove the pan from the freezer. (The chilled pan make is easier for the cookies to stick) Fill the cookie press with the dough and select your favorite shape. Press the cookies out onto the chilled cookie sheet. Sprinkle with your favorite sanding sugars and embellishments. Bake the cookies for 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully place the hot cookies on a cooling rack.
Fill a cookie press with the dough, and turn out cookies 1 to 2 inches apart onto an unbuttered baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with colored sanding sugars.
**Feel free to experiment with food coloring to color the dough.
2lbs confectioner’s sugar
1/3 c. + 2 tablespoon meringue powder
1/2-3/4 cup warm water
1-2 tbsp. oil-free extract or flavoring
Add the dry ingredients first to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Stir on low. Add the flavoring to the water. Slowly pour in the water while it mixes. Increase the speed and continue to beat for 7 minutes or until peaks form.
Store royal icing in an airtight container.