Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yin and Yang- A Relationship through Cookies

How about a Christmas cookie, would you like one?
I've got to be honest with you. I am not a sugar cookie fan.
Rarely do I blog about something I don't like. They are simple as can be, classic and clean. I certainly don't hate them, but I want a cookie with a little more drama, more complexity and flavor. I like many things to be simple, but not my cookies. I pass these altogether at Christmas and reach for other varieties that grace the family table- the pecan tassies, the chocolate madeleines, even the rum fruitcake (now that's good, we'll talk about it later).
But when it comes to sweets I sometimes need to be reminded that it's not all about me. This is the season of giving, and some prefer the classic simplicity of the Christmas sugar cookie. Some like Ray, who counts them as his favorite around the holidays.
Especially when slathered with chocolate frosting!
So I bake them happily, and he gets his own personal tins of cookies to munch on at home until the 24th. Then we both invade the cookie tins of our mothers for some Christmas memories in dessert form.
I am not tempted to eat these, but the smell of butter and sugar creaming together is irresistable to the baker. As is cutting out christmas trees and stockings and sprinkling them with pretty crystals.
Oh yes, I love that part.
Et voila! Bella.

I make a simple glaze for these cookies with semisweet chocolate chips, melted butter, and vanilla; it's a little fudgy and a bit hit. If you want to get fancy, be my guest. I think they are prettiest on their own- naked with those pretty sugar crystals- but a little goopy frosting makes the peeps happy.
The Simplest of Simple Christmas Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
sprinkles and icing for decoration

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla, and beat until mixed. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and add, mixing on low speed, until the dough comes together. Split dough in half, wrap in plastic, and chill for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with foil.

Remove one piece of dough and roll out on a well-floured surface- not too thin! Cut out cookies with cutters and place on baking sheets. Put the scraps back together and roll once more, cutting out as many shapes as you can. Repeat with the second half of dough. Sprinkle with colored sugar or anything you like. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

Cool on a rack. If adding frosting, let the cookies cool for at least 10-15 minutes so you don't end up with chocolatey rivers.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

now if only i could find a cookie i didn't like ;) love giving to others, especially this time of year!