Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Cookies

Months and months ago I pinned a recipe for holiday sugar cookies and I have been anxiously waiting for Christmastime to approach so that I can make them. In all honesty, they could easily be used for any sort of holiday just by changing the color, but lets face it, what is Christmas without sugar cookies?!

My biggest issue with recipes that you find on Pinterest is that they almost never look the same as they do in the pictures. Whats up with that? You follow the recipe to a T and it ends up looking like a ten year old made it. Is that just me? Well, sure enough, the dough for the sugar cookies ended up less than half as perfect as the photo showed. When you see my picture feel free to laugh, heck, I did! The most important thing is that they taste amazing. I made them while my grandpa was in town and they were a big hit! The flavor was delicious and reminded me of an old fashioned butter cookie.

What they were suppose to look like:

Photo Credits and Recipe: Our Italian Kitchen

What mine looked like: 

HAHA. Epic fail right? Aesthetically yes, taste quality, no.

What You Need:

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (cut in chunks)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp of food coloring of your choice
1 1/2 bottles of holiday sprinkles
*Optional 1/2 tsp flavored extracts

What You Need To Do:

In your mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugars. Add the butter (room temp and cut into chunks) and vanilla. Let it mix on medium speed. You will start to notice that the dough will form a ball on your paddle, just turn off your mixer and scrape it back into the bowl to continue mixing. When the dough is completely mixed, take it out of the bowl/off of the paddle and roll it into a ball in your hands then split it into two equal parts. Roll out one of the halves between two pieces of wax or parchment paper until the dough is about 1/4 an inch thick. 

Return the second ball back into the bowl and add drops of green food coloring (or whatever color you choose) and if you are putting in an extract, now would be a good time to do so. Mix dough, food coloring, and extract on low until the color is evenly distributed. You may need to add more food coloring to reach the color you desire. Transfer the dough to another piece of parchment paper or wax paper, place one over the top, and roll the dough out until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick.

Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Once your two hour mark is up, take the dough out and let it sit for about 10 minutes just to un-harden slightly. Remove both sets of dough from the parchment paper and brush the uncolored dough lightly with water, then place the green dough atop of the uncolored dough. Use a butter knife to make the edges straight then gently roll the dough "jelly roll" style to create the swirl. Pour out 1-2 bottles of holiday sprinkles onto your parchment paper and slowly roll your dough in the sprinkles. You may need to press some sprinkles on by hand. 

Now, the original recipe calls for you to leave your dough in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours after completing the steps above, but I was sick of waiting for my cookies, so I skipped that step and they still turned out very tasty.

Preheat your oven to 350 and cut your cookie dough into 1/4-1/8 inch slices. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes depending on your oven. Let them cool for at least 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Store in an air tight container and enjoy!

Although my cookie dough didn't look as lovely as Our Italian Kitchen's the cookies themselves looked pretty good and they tasted amazing!

Happy Holidays!
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