I am positively bursting at the seams with Christmas spirit this year. I've been playing Christmas carols and have baked Holiday related baked goods since mid-November. Which is all fine and dandy except that my boyfriend is Jewish and I have a sneaking suspicion that he may murder me in my sleep if I play Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You one more time.
Luckily, I think I caught a lot of my holiday cheer from my best girlie pal Katie and so I invited her over to have a Christmas cookie party. She picked a couple recipes from my cookie magazine and it was decided we would make half a batch of plain sugar cookies, half a batch of chocolate sugar cookies and part of a batch of vanilla-chocolate swirl sugar cookies. Why? Because I sure do love destroying the kitchen.
Before we made cookies and made my kitchen look like a war zone, Katie gave me my Christmas present since we won't see each other again until January. Knowing that I collect all things cupcake related, she gave me this gloriously tacky backpack, meant for small children:
The sad thing is I'll probably use it because it has drink holders on the sides and I really hate carrying a thermos or water bottle. And because I like to pretend I'm four years old. Thanks Katie!
The cookies turned out well but I won't bother typing up the recipes because neither was spectacular. Also, I'm lazy. The regular sugar cookie recipe was way easier to work with, the chocolate sugar cookies kept flaking everywhere. I figured they would probably still bake up okay but the first batch spread everywhere, bubbled up up in a strange manner and basically looked like we had made the cookies drunk and blindfolded. Luckily, I am cookie MacGyver and decided that the dough needed more binder, as it didn't have any eggs in it. So I dumped the dough back in the KitchenAid, added an egg and more flour and viola, the dough saw I meant business and cooperated. BOW TO ME, FOR I AM THE COOKIE QUEEN, BWA HAHA.
For decorations, I bought some sprinkles and various candies and made a couple of batches of icing to dye different colors. I based the icing off of this recipe, though it got all weird and seperated afterwards. It worked a lot better when I just dumped a bunch of stuff into a bowl and added stuff til it looked right. Go figure. But in case you want it:
Sugar Cookie Icing
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 5 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- food coloring
- In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.
I thought our cookies came out adorable, though I may only think that because I spent like five hours making them and then a additional five hours cleaning up the kitchen. But considering we didn't use piping bags or any other fancy tools, I think we did a good job.
To make the marbled chocolate-vanilla cookies, I layered pierces of chocolate and vanilla dough and then twisted it around before rolling it out. They were pretty as is so we didn't decorate those guys. Here's a choco-vanilla snowflake:
Oh, we also made a few stained glass cookies in which you have a strong man smash a bunch of Jolly Ranchers and then place the shards in a hollowed out cookie before they bake. They look really cool when they work out but it's hard to get the right amount of candy in: too little and it crisped up and didn't form a pretty surface and too much and it overflowed. Also, while BJ was smashing the candy, some of the candy vaporized and turned into a sort of deadly candy gas that made everybody sneeze.
Neat though, right? Though Katie may have carpel tunnel from cutting all of the cookie innards out with a small knife.
I had to make an emergency butter run while we were making these since I used most of the other pack of butter making the cinnamon rolls. I told Joe where I was going and why and shortly afterwards heard BJ yell, "What?! How could anything have that much butter in it? Dammit Sophie, I ate like 10 of those!" and I soothed him with more baked goods. Easy fix.
We made approximately 19 billion more than what is pictured but I got really tired of editing photos. Just trust in me that they were all adorable. Happy Holidays!