Christmas is only a week away. I am always amazed at how quickly the year (and years) pass by. I am often swamped this time of year because I often have to work a lot of overtime hours November and December which makes it really tough to do the things I love to in this season which is cook, bake, and craft.
I do always decorate though and try at least get some baking in. Every family has their favorites. I won't post all mine today but will share a few for you to try this week.
My father loves thick soft sugar. Our family recipe can use any number of different extracts. Most commonly I use lemon or almond or vanilla for these but have used others as well. So it can be a really nice versatile cookie for you as well. And iced, they are show stoppers!
4 C sifted flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 C shortening/butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla ( or other extract flavors like lemon and almond)
4 tsp milk (approx)
Sift--- flour, baking powder, salt sifted 3 times-- set aside
Mix--butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla until light and fluffy
Alternate mixing dry ingredients into wet (if you want to add food coloring, here is the place to do it)
Chill dough in freezer to cool quickly, or make into ball and leave in fridge overnight
Heat oven to 400 degrees F
Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness
Cut out with flour dipped cutters
Bake on lightly greased sheets until bottoms look golden, tops will still be pretty light and soft looking, let cool.
Another favorite here that Mike likes are my Oatmeal cookies. You can vary these as well depending on whether you like to add chocolate chips or nuts or whatever to them.
OATMEAL SPICE COOKIES
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
2/3 C buttermilk
2 C rolled oats
Sift------flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
Mix-----Cream butter, add sugar in 2 portions and cream. Beat in egg until fluffy.
Add----- flour mix and buttermilk alternately in 2 or 3 portions until smooth after each. Stir in rolled oats.
If you want to add chips or nuts, just cut back on the flour by 1/4 C.
Bake----on lightly greased sheets at 400 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes.
Another one I often bake here are spritz cookies. These are a butter cookie used with a cookie press. Like the sugar cookies, you can use any flavor extract you like. I do these in almond and vanilla, amaretto and chocolate, and like the sugar cookies, can be colored as well with food coloring's.
2 1/2 C flour
1 C butter = 1/2 lb
3/4 C sugar sifted
3 egg YOLKS
1/2 tsp almond extract OR 1 tsp vanilla
Mix--cream butter until shiny , add sifted sugar gradually.
Beat- add egg yolks until fluffy. Add flavoring and color.
Stir--in flour in 3 or 4 portions
Press onto cold ungreased sheets and bake at 400 degrees F about 8 minutes.
For CHOCOLATE SPRITZ COOKIES;
Follow same as above except after creaming butter and sugar, immediately add 1 1/2 squares melted unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled, and use 1 tsp vanilla for the flavoring.
We also like no bake cookies. These things rock!
NO BAKE COOKIES:
In a 2 QT saucepan in over medium low heat, melt and mix
2 C sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 C milk
4 heaping tsp cocoa
pinch of salt
Whisk to blend, when it comes to a full boil, boil 1 minute.
Take off stove and then ADD;
3/4 C peanut butter
2 1/4 C quick oats
2 tsp vanilla
Mix well and drop on 2 greased cookie sheets and cool in the fridge.
Keep checking back this week as I will be adding more Christmas recipes and also
Hanukkah which is this week!