Now is the perfect time to start making holiday cookies if you haven’t already!’
We have a tradition where we do a bit of a twist on a cookie exchange in our family. Every year we get together with some of the boys’ friends and their families and have a cookie decorating party. Someone makes sugar cookies, someone makes gingerbread cookies, someone makes chocolate butter cookies, someone makes lemon cookies and then we all get together at the house with the biggest dining table and decorate them.
Decorated cookies end up covering every available surface as the icing dries
After we are done the kids run around and play together while the moms clean up, drink a little wine and chat while waiting for the icing to harden enough to pack up the cookies. We divide up them up to take home, each family returning with a variety of flavors to enjoy.
My favorite cookie recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated and is very easy to make.
2.5 cups of flour
.75 cups of powdered sugar
.25 teaspoon of salt
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) of butter, cut into pieces & softened
2 tablespoons of cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons of vanilla.
Mix flour, powdered sugar & salt together in a large mixing bowl. Using a mixer on low, blend in the butter, one piece at a time, then add the cream cheese & vanilla and mix until the dough begins to hold together. Dump it out on a clean counter and press it together into a large ball. Divide into 4 parts and roll each part out between sheets of wax paper until the dough is an eighth of an inch thick.
Stack the wax paper wrapped dough onto a cookie tray and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pull one sheet of dough at a time and press out cookies, transferring them to the parchment lined baking sheets. Save up the unused dough and roll it out again with the leftover dough from the other sheets. Chill this sheet for another 10 minutes & cut out more cookies from it.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking. The cookies’ edges should just be turning golden brown when they are finished. Cool on the tray for 3 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
This makes 36-44 cookies depending on the size of your cookie cutters.