Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life List: Make & decorate sugar cookies to give away

Yeah, I realize these aren't them...

I was pretty old before I realized that people made more than just pizzelles and strufoli for Christmas.  Like, probably not until after college. And we definitely never made sugar cookies. But this is what Life Lists are for - all that weird stuff you never did that you really feel like you should. 

Having never made a whole bunch of cookies to put on a plate and give away to friends and family, the whole concept seemed like WAY more of a big deal than it is. Remember the aunt who made the gingerbread houses from scratch, architecturally designed, and with stained glass windows made from crushed Life Savers? OK, just like the houses, that's my only model of someone who makes and gives away plates of cookies. And also just like the houses, there are TONS of cookies, all very elaborate, none of which you've heard of, and all so tasty you want to weep sugar tears.

But then I got the baking bug one day and opened the Williams Sonoma Holiday cookbook that someone had given me years ago and found a recipe for Mexican Wedding Cookies (also known as Snowballs) and - ta da - a cookie tray was born. I realized that the tray probably didn't need to be elaborate and probably didn't need 12 different varieties of cookies. So I made and froze about six different cookies, the last of which were the sugar cookies.

I didn't even own cookie cutters for the cookies, so I grabbed the candy cane and star (the only options) at the grocery store, bought a plastic squeeze bottle for the royal icing, crushed red and white sprinkles for the candy cane cookies, and lo and behold, I was no longer a sugar cookie virgin.

I had them laid out all pretty on the cooling rack, with the royal icing streaks and the edible glitter painted on, and the big cookie tray waiting for the last addition... and then forgot to take pictures. Fail. So you'll just have to trust me that I made them. Charlotte was too young to help this year, but I assume next year it can be a group activity. This year she "helped" by watching the Kitchen Aid in awe and leaping into my side every time I turned it on.

Here's what ended up on my cookie tray, but I did absolutely no research, just made whatever occured to me. So if you're a cookie person, please let me know what was on yours so I can add it next year. Extra points for non-peanut cookies since we have a peanut allergy in our family.

Cookie Tray
Orange-walnut Snowballs
Peanut Butter Kiss cookies
Peanut clusters (melted chocolate and butterscotch mixed with peanuts)
Sugar cookies
Peppermint Bark (recommended by Ouiser)

Next year I need to give way more trays away because we ended up with far too many here at the house and I sent B to work with a huge bag to put in the kitchen at his work.  The people on our cookie recipient list were: neighbors, mailman, garbage men, each set of grandparents.


1 comment:

Strongmama said...

You are the perfect person for a cookie exchange! Have you ever done one? It totally cuts down on baking a boatload of different cookies, but you get a boatload of different cookies in the end! The normal way to do it is to make a dozen for each person participating, plus one extra dozen to share at your little exchange, but I do it with half dozens so that we don't have TONS of cookies. (And I just got my cookie exchange bags and tags from WS for next year for .97!!!) And it's a great excuse to get together with friends/family during the holidays. This year was our 5th year hosting one. In some years it's been a mamas only thing; other years it's been kids too. I also serve pomegranate martinis as an incentive to bring baked goods :)

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