I’m a traditional kind of girl when it comes to Christmas cookies. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional unusual concoction here and there, but for the most part, I think those unusual concoctions are for the people who are competing to come up with the most creative and unusual cookie that they hope will become the next big trend when it comes to cookies. That’s just not my bag. I’m happy with my usual traditional repertoire.
The cookies that I’ll be sharing for the next few days are the cookies that I grew up with. They are the ones that my mom, my grandmother, and my aunts made. They’re the cookies that my kids grew up with. And they’re the cookies that Katie is starting to bake at her own apartment now…and that’s exciting for both her and me. I love watching her starting her own traditions, mingled with the ones that she already knows.
I don’t know… I was back and forth, trying to decide whether to post about these cookies or not. I mean, they’re definitely “cutsie”. There is nothing cutsie about me. I don’t decorate my trees that way, I don’t decorate my house that way. But for some reason, my cutouts are always cutsie. I guess it’s from when my kids were much younger, and I just never changed them up as they got older.
But why change now?
Cutouts fall right into the “comfort food” category, and that’s what I’m all about. The scent of the cookies baking permeates the house; and brings back the happy times that we’ve shared throughout our lives. This time of year, I scour the shelves for new baking supplies. I love to buy the holiday sprinkles, the colored sugars, food coloring, and/or cookie cutters whether I need them or not. Christmas is my most favorite holiday of the year..truly.
Usually every year, my cutouts consist of Christmas trees, snowmen, santas, snowflakes, stars, etc…but this year, I joined a cookie swap with Pamela at Brooklyn Farm Girl and the theme was snowmen. And…since I was running late, I decided that my cutouts would be all snowmen this year. I did them in two hours from start to finish. Please note that they did need a few hours to sit for the frosting to set before I packed them into the container.
Speaking of Pamela… she is the most adorable little thing you’ll ever want to meet! I love her blog, her free spirit is so contagious, that you can’t help but feel happy after reading her posts. You should visit her blog; she has some wonderful stories, and delicious recipes! Her rooftop garden in the summertime? To die for. Seriously.
Honestly, if you’re pressed for time, these are the cookies for you. Believe me, I’m not claiming to be the Queen of cookie decorating; I’m far from that. But, cutsie or not, I think that these little guys can stand up proudly on a cookie plate of any kind… even with the trendy concoctions that happen to share the table.
Now, back to the cookies… Here is what you’ll need as far as decorating tools:
Red Food Coloring
Green Food Coloring
Orange Food Coloring
Black Food Coloring
(I just went with the normal Christmas colors, but change up the colors if you’d like!)
2-1/2” diameter round cookie cutter
#230 for the nose
#7 for the eyes, mouth, and holly berries
#3 for the plaid and dots on the hats
#46 for the hat
#22 for the fur around the hat and the poof
Disposable decorator’s bags. They make life easy, therefore are a necessary tool in my cupboard.
Candy Holly Leaves…(But if you look closely, you can see that I used candy Christmas trees, because that’s all I had in my cupboard. Hey, I told you I’m not the queen of cookie decorating…but they worked!)
My mom will periodically throughout the year ask me to make these cookies for her. I’m always happy to oblige, in the shape of a heart, with pink frosting. She loves them.
1-½ cups sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, butter, shortening, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Begin adding the flour mixture alternating with ¼ cup sour cream at a time mixing until it’s well blended until all of the flour and sour cream have been incorporated into the dough. The dough will be really sticky.
At this point, you can divide it into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for a couple of hours for ease of rolling. I never do. If I’m in cookie mode, then I’m going for it until they’re done.
Divide the dough into two balls. Using plenty of flour on your rolling surface, roll out the first ball to about 1/4 inch, and begin cutting circles of dough (dipping the cookie cutter into flour each time), placing them on a parchment paper lined large cookie sheet. You can fit about 12 cookies at a time on the sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. This makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
3 cups confectioners sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp light corn syrup
4 tbsp milk
Combine ingredients into mixing bowl, mix on low speed until the ingredients are blended together, and then increase the speed to high for about five minutes.
Using a small spatula, spread plain white frosting over ¾’s of the cookie. This is the snowman’s face.
Using tip #46 that has been loaded into a decorator’s bag with red frosting, create the hat by piping stripes from the top of the face to the top of the head. Pipe a half circle from one side of the top to the other. (See photo).
Using tip #3 that has been loaded into a decorator’s bag with green frosting, pipe dots ½ of the snowmen, and pipe plaid on the other ¼ of the snowmen.
Using tip #22 that has been loaded into a decorator’s bag with white frosting, create the fur around the hat by piping stars along the bottom of the hat, and then one poof at the top of the hat.
Using tip #230 that has been loaded into a decorator’s bag with orange frosting, pipe a single nose onto the middle of the face.
Using tip #7 that has been loaded into a decorator’s bag with black frosting, create the snowman’s face by piping dots for eyes, and five dots into a smile for his mouth.
Stick two candy holly leaves (or Christmas trees) into the fur of the hat, and using tip #7 that has been loaded into a decorator’s bag with red frosting, pipe three little holly berries in the center of the two leaves.
The cookies are ready to go. If you are planning on layering them on top of each other, then you’ll want to let them set for about five or six hours before putting them into the container. Use waxed paper between layers.