Cookie Cutter Cookies
Great way to spend time with children.
In years past, people would use a simple sugar cookie recipe to make cookie dough. After chilling the dough, they would then place the ball of dough on a clean table or other flat surface and roll it flat with a rolling pin.
Using tin cookie cutters in the shape of Christmas trees, Santa Claus, wreaths, candy canes, etc., they would cut the flat dough into decorative shapes and then bake them to produce holiday themed cookies.
Once baked the cookies would be decorated with colored icing and topped off with decorative colored sugars or small, colorful candies.
While some people still make Christmas cookies this way today, most opt to make a variety of different, and very tasty, cookies using different ethnic and gourmet recipes
However, cookie cutters are making a comeback and not just for Christmas.
In addition to Christmas themed cookie cutters, vendors are now selling cookie cutters for Halloween (pumpkins, ghosts, witches, etc.), Easter (bunnies, eggs, etc.), St. Patrick's Day (shamrocks, leprechauns), Valentine's Day (hearts), etc.
A great way for parents of young, and not so young, children to celebrate holidays is to acquire a collection of holiday themed cookie cutters and let them join you in cutting out cookies and decorating them using the cookie and icing recipes below.
A Simple Cookie Dough Recipe
The spices in this recipe make for a very good tasting cookie as well as a fun recipe for children to use in making cookies.
3¼ cups of flour
½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ground cloves
1¾ teaspoons of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ cup of softened (but not melted) butter or margarine
1 cup of sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream
Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves) together. In a large mixing bowl cream butter/margarine and sugar by thoroughly mixing, by hand with a fork or spoon, the sugar with the soft butter. Add egg and vanilla extract to the mixture, then mix well. Add sour cream and mix until well blended. Add dry ingredients a little at a time until mixed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. You can also leave the dough overnight in refrigerator if desired as I always found that by the time I got home from work with my boys, made and ate dinner, made the recipe and chilled it, it was time to put them to bed. So I would make the dough one night and we would make the cookies the next night.
Preheat oven to 350º. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour and cut out cookies. Bake on un-greased cookie sheets for 8 to 10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. Frost cookies with icing (see recipe below) once cookies have cooled.
Quantity of cookies varies depending upon size of cookie cutters but will normally produce around 3 dozen cookies.
An Icing for the Cookies
2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
2½ - 3 tablespoons of water
Slowly add water to sugar while mixing with a spoon. Continue slowly adding water until icing is moist enough to spread evenly on cookies. Add more water if icing begins to harden. Add more sugar and water if need additional icing to cookies.
Divide icing into smaller bowls and add food coloring, a drop at at time and mix. Add more coloring for deeper color. Use different color in each bowl. Spread icing on cooled cookies or make designs on with a pastry bag or other decorating instrument. Keep icing tightly covered and store in refrigerator when not being used as it will dry out. Icing will keep for a few days but may dry out some – in this case simply add a little water and stir.
Hint: If you end up with more cookies than icing, simply add more sugar
and water (and color if necessary) and mix to increase amount
available. On the other hand, if you end up with more icing than
cookies, simply spread the excess on some graham crackers as this makes
a nice sweet and healthy treat.
Links to Some of My Other Holiday Hubs
- Pan de Muertos - Bread of the Dead
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- Eggs and Easter
In a previous Hub entitled Easter Eggs I described some of the traditions and customs associated with eggs and Easter. However, there is much more to the story about the links between eggs and Easter and the...
- How to Turn a Pumpkin into a Jack-O-Lantern
Utter the word Halloween and the first image that comes to most people's minds is a Jack-O'-Lantern - a pumpkin with a face carved on it. The practice of celebrating Halloween with Jack-O'-Lanterns is an...
- Gingerbread Men and Gingerbread Houses
Gingerbread men and gingerbread houses have long played a popular role in Christmas celebrations. Walk into the Christmas section of almost any store and you will see ready made gingerbread men in with the...
- My Top Christmas Stocking Fillers
When I was growing up my brothers and sisters and I always hung up our stockings on Christmas Eve and continued the practice until we grew up and moved out. We always received an orange along with some...
- Quick and Easy Christmas Cookies for Children
Here is a quick and easy recipe for cookie dough that can be rolled flat and used with cookie cutters to make Christmas cookies. It is a great recipe to use with children. It is quick and easy to make and...
- Valentine's Day and Chocolate
Just as the crocus pushing its way up through the melting snow heralds the start of the transition from winter to Spring, the emergence of chocolate hearts wrapped in bright red foil and small, heart shaped...