Christmas Cookies Galore

This week it was all about tradition in the oven. For a few of us in the apartment, cookies really do mean it’s Christmas time and since we will not be home until just a few days before the actual day, we needed to find something to help get us in the spirit. Plus, we ended up with dozens and dozens of cookies so I hope our friends here are here look forward to getting some Christmas cookies!
From my family, we made sugar cookies and frosted them, making sure everyone in the house decorates at least one, according to my family’s tradition. [Although, looking back now, it was much cleaner here then when it’s done at my house.]
From Katharine’s family, we made sour cream cookies with chocolate frosting and molasses cookies. Now, because it was her mother’s personal family recipe for sour cream cookies, I am not able to post the recipe here on my blog but if you search sour cream cookies with chocolate frosting on the internet, you may be able to find a few recipes to use.
I’ve got to say, the house was a bit hectic with prepping and backing back to back but it was such a wonderful day just getting to do something that was so heartwarming for all of us. Even without our families, it made the apartment feel so much fuller, happier, and festive like when we are home. I look forward to getting home and being with my family but this was a nice little treat before we all went home on our own.

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Sugar Cookies

1 cup salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter, powdered sugar and salt on low speed until well combine, about 20 seconds. Mix in egg, vanilla and almond extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour and mix until combine. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate until firm about 1 1/2 hours. [Icing is a simple powdered sugar and water mixture combined until the right consistency.]
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough out on a generously floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness then cut dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Carefully transfer cut shapes to prepared baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, edges should not brown. Allow cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool cookies completely then frost with icing.

 Molasses Cookies

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1  teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (210 grams) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or safflower oil
1/3 cup (80 ml) unsulphured molasses (lightly grease measuring cup to prevent the molasses from sticking)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Garnish:
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar or sprinkles

In a large bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In the bowl or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 – 3 minutes). Add the oil, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Beat in the flour mixture mixture until well incorporated. Cover and chill the batter until firm (about 2 hours or overnight).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place about 1 cup (200 grams) of white granulated sugar/sprinkles in a medium sized bowl. When the dough has chilled sufficiently, roll into 1 inch balls. Then roll the balls of dough into the sugar, coating them thoroughly. Place on the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart and, with the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies slightly. Bake for about 9 – 10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crinkles yet are barely dry. (They will look a little underdone.) Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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