- by Charlotte Hubbard
For me, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the cookies. And we’re talking thousands of cookies! I start in late September, baking batches in the evenings and on weekends, and I make at least 150 dozen cookies to give to friends, family and my church. I’m mailing and delivering this season’s goodies now, so—HO HO HO!–how ‘bout we do a recipe exchange?
I’ll share my sugar cookie and buttercream frosting recipes, with a colorful variation, AND I’ll give a signed copy of UNWRAP ME to the person who submits the recipe I can’t wait to try (“Naughty Noelle” has a mom who bakes hundreds of cookies in that story…in case you’re wondering how this is “writing related!” We write what we know, right?)
Some baking hints before the recipes (and yeah, you could probably bake them right on the cover of this anthology ):
***I’ve discovered parchment paper, and it’s the BEST way to produce wonderful nonstick cookies with a minimum of pan cleanup. You can use the same paper batch after batch.
***If your cookies turn out dry and hard, set a timer for a few minutes less than the recipe calls for and focus on those cookies! Overbaking is quickest way to ruin a beautiful cookie (unless you like them dry and hard! Me, I’m the soft-and-chewy type.)
***Sugar cookies, bar cookies, you name it—they all freeze very well in boxes/bins with wax paper between the layers. And they’re still great after months of being in the freezer.
***Use real butter for cut-outs. No substitutes! Cookies hold their shape better as they bake, and they just taste better.
***And those cookies you see in magazines with shapes cut out of the centers?? The recipe might SAY to cut that shape before you bake but it doesn’t work! For a nice clean
opening, cool the cookies on the pan for about 30 seconds and then cut/lift the shape out with a metal cutter. You can use the cut-out parts on other cookies, AS cookies…or they pop into your mouth, too! It’s called quality control, before you serve these to your friends!
Merry Christmas, everyone! Have a wonderful holiday season!
(about 3 doz.)
½ C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C. flour
½ tsp. each salt and baking soda
Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients until moist and blended. Roll dough in wax paper and chill at least 2 hours (I leave these in the fridge overnight, or for whenever I have the time to bake).
Preheat oven to 350. Roll out the dough about ¼” thick, cut out shapes, and bake on
sprayed or parchment papered pans for 7-9 minutes. Cookies firm up as they cool.
A PRETTY VARIATION: Add a box of sugar-free gelatin, along with coordinating paste food color to intensify the tint. Green/lime makes awesome trees, holly, etc., red/cherry looks festive as Santa boots, poinsettias, etc. and for yellow, use peach or orange gelatin. If you use regular sugared gelatin, decrease the recipe sugar by 1/8 cup.
1 stick butter, softened
½ C. Crisco
½ C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon flavoring
A 2 lb. bag of powdered sugar
Put the butter, Crisco and liquids in the mixing bowl and add sugar a cup at time
until frosting peaks hold their shape as you mix. Best to tint this with paste color,
as liquid makes it too soft. Pipe or spread this on cookies. You can freeze leftover