Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Four Christmas Cookies

I take one base of sugar cookie dough and turn it into 4 very different and delicious Christmas cookies: Sugar Cutouts, Gingerbread Men, Raspberry-Lemon Thumb Prints, and Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies. This is the easiest way (aside from buying them) to have a nice variety of cookies without driving yourself completely insane making a bunch of different batters. This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies (one dozen of each). You can double the recipe if you want more of each. I love the Mexican Hot Chocolate cookies for their unique taste. I need a thumbprint for it to feel like Christmas and the gingerbread men and cutouts are so much fun to decorate. I saw Martha do something similar (one base batter and a zillion different cookies) but this one is a bit simpler than my girl Marthas. If you need to refresh your Christmas Cookie selection before the big day, give this recipe a try!Four Christmas Cookies
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbs. molasses
1 tsp. ginger
zest from 1 lemon
raspberry jam
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1 package hot chocolate mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup almonds
2 cup confecioners sugar
1 Tbs. milk
food coloring

1. It is best to have your ingredients at room temperature to make cookies (or for baking in general). Begin by creaming butter and sugar together until nice and fluffy.
2. Add eggs and continue to whip until fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed and add the flour, baking soda, powder, and salt. Mix until just combined.
3. Divide the batter evenly into 4 medium sized bowls.
4. Into each bowl add the following and mix thoroughly. I am lazy so I just threw each batter back into my mixer and mixed the ingredients using the mixer.
a. 1/2 tsp. almond extract
b. 1 Tbs. molasses and 1 tsp. ginger
c. zest from 1 lemon
d. 1 package hot chocolate mix and 1 tsp. cinnamon
5. Wrap each batter in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Now it's time to make each different variety...

Sugar Cookie Cut Outs
1. Take the plain batter and put it on a well floured board.
2. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use cutters to make whatever shapes you like. I have a tree, candy cane, mitten, and star.
3. Bake on a lined or sprayed baking try in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes until lightly browned.
4. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before you frost.
5. Make the frosting by combining confectioner sugar and milk in a large bowl.
6. Whisk it together until smooth. Frosting is tricky, so you want to get a nice consistency that isn't too thin or too thick.
7. Divide frosting into 4 bowls and dye them red, yellow, and green (leave one white)
8. Frost the cookies. This is where my anal retention shines. I like them all to be just so.

Gingerbread Men
1. Use the gingerbread dough and place it onto a well floured board.
2. Roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut out the gingerbread men (and women if you have them).
3. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly browned. They will spread out a little, but I like this because then they look like chubby little dudes. Love this. 4. Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
5. I put the leftover white frosting from the recipe above into a plastic baggie and cut off a very tiny hole in one corner.
6. Decorate the gingerbread men with eyes, noses, collars, sleeves, ties, and shoes. Whatever you like.

Raspberry-Lemon Thumb Prints
1. Take the lemon zest batter and roll it into little 1/2 inch balls.
2. Put the coconut onto a plate, take each ball, put it on the coconut plate and press your thumb into the cookie to make a little well that you can fill with jam.
3. Put the cookies onto a cookie tray and fill each well with raspberry jam.
4. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until browned.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
1. Take the hot chocolate dough and use a piece of plastic wrap to roll the dough into a log that has about a 1-inch diameter.
2. Put the log into the freezer for 10 minutes.
3. Crush up 1/4 cup almonds and spread out on a cutting board.
4. Unwrap the roll of dough and roll it in the crushed almonds. Put enough pressure on the dough so that the almonds stick into the dough.
5. Cut the log into 12 pieces and lay them on a lined or sprayed cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly browned.7. Allow to cool.

Store all the cookies in airtight Tupperware and make plates up for your friends whenever they come over during the holiday weekend.
Mark taught me a cool family trick. Put a piece of plain white bread into the Tupperware with the cookies. The piece of bread will get stale and the cookies will stay soft. Strange...but it totally works.


  1. I feel like I tag your posts in my Google Reader (for future use, filed under Dinner or Cookies or Entertaining or Brunch, etc), share them, or email them to people pretty consistently. I love this post. Thanks @EmGusk for sending CSK my way.

  2. Excellent, I'm doing this. Thanks! xo

  3. Thanks gals. Merry Christmas and I'll see you next week!

    And welcome back Capitol to Capital. I missed your updates! My boyfriend's family lives in Albany so I will ask them for some good eating tips and pass them along.