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Christmas Explosion

December 14, 2010

Grill Boy and I had a huge Christmasy weekend, 3 different types of christmas cookies, a marathon shopping excursion and 3 nights of wrapping festivities. Our tree looks much more happy now, and not just because we now have more than seven ornaments on the tree 🙂

Before

Now

And again Christmas trees never photograph well, but it looks AMAZING. Yay Christmas.

So as mentioned, Grill Boy and I went into full cookie production this weekend, needless to say the KitchenAid Mixer was tired at the end of the day.

First up I finally got to use my Williams-Sonoma Baking Cookbook that Grill Boy got me for my birthday back in July.

It is an amazing book, mostly because it has pictures of everything, which makes me want to bake it all even more, and they are so politically correct, we made Gingerbread People, not Men!

Gingerbread People

2 sticks of butter, softened, at room temp
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 cup of molasses
1 egg
5 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ginger
4 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Beat the butter until fluffy and pale yellow, about 4-6 minutes

2.Add the sugar, beat for 1 minute

3. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the molasses, beat until well combined.

4. Add the egg, beat for about a minute.

5. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

SO MUCH FLOUR!

But it makes a cinnamon/ginger mountain!

6. Slowly add the flour (I did it one cup at a time, with the mixer on low)

Beware of the dough creeping up the mixer!

7. Divide the dough into four parts and make flat round discs. Wrap each in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (the longer the better)

7. Roll out the discs one at a time and using cookie cutters, make into whatever shapes your heart desires. Don’t be shy with the flour, flour your hands, flour the surface you are using, flour the rolling pin, flour the discs, the cookie cutters, the extra flour will make your job easier.

8. Bake at 400 degrees, for around 8 minutes (for gingerbread people sized cookies), less time for smaller, more for bigger.

We made bears, candy canes, trees, and choo choo trains

We also made a gingerbread house

Simple Buttercream Frosting

1 stick of butter softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of milk

Beat it all together and then add food coloring as desired (Bonus: while you are beating it, powdered sugar fumes fill the air, making the air taste sweet, oxygen bars ain’t got nothing on this).

We just made red and green, as well as keeping some white.To frost you can either use a piping bag if you have one, or just use ziploc bags and cut a tiny (and I mean tiny) piece off one of the bottom corners.

And of course, like we always do, we forgot to take pictures, but perhaps we will make more cookies this weekend and take the end result pictures.

Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup of butter (this is 10 and 2/3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 cups of flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

1. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract

2.Add the egg and mix until fluffy.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt.

4. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour. Then like with the gingerbread cookies, flour everything, roll out the cookies to about 1/4 of an inch thick, make your desired shapes, add sprinkles, colored sugar or just roll 1 inch dough balls in sugar.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned on the bottom.

Note the awesome colored sugar, I made it! Just put about 1/2 cup of white sugar in a ziploc bag, add one drop of desired food coloring color and shake until the sugar is all covered. Yeah that’s right I made sugar 🙂

And there you have it, an explosion of Christmas cookies, with more installments to come I am sure.

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