Unemployment will not bode well for my waistline. See one month after starting what seemed to be my dream job sadly turned out to be anything but. And so two weeks before Christmas I found myself unemployed and back at square one. Always being one to jump back on the horse I found that given the time of the year I’ve basically been forced to take a seat back and relax on the job search front until after the New Year.
So what’s a girl with a lot of time on her hands to do? Well the first thing I did was reach out to my second family, God’s Love We Deliver, to lend a helping hand this and last week, and the second thing I did was stock up my baking pantry and get to “work.”
I’ve made holiday cookies without my mother maybe once or twice but she’s the best home cook I know. So while I hate the idea of making holiday cookies without her, this year I had no choice….sitting on the couch and sulking is just not my thing. Already a week without a 9-5 and I’m getting antsy and thus the great cookie bake-off of 2012 began.
My original plan was to make these beautiful cookie candy canes but the dough I created doesn’t lend itself well to shaping. But it does work well with cookie cutters and so I dug deep into my pantry and found these wonderful cookie cutters that punch out custom messages.
With dough still red and white (I didn’t realize that the candy canes wouldn’t work until after the dough coloring process was already done), I went with the flow and made two different colored holiday cookies.
Message in a Cookie
*Makes 20 cookies
*If you don’t want colored cookies, omit the red food coloring and the dough dividing process
- 2 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 12 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar
- red food coloring
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TBS castor sugar
- cookie cutters
- Sift together the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside
- in an electric mixer beat the butter on high for 2 minutes, reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes
- turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl
- add half the flour and beat on low-speed until most of the flour has been absorbed
- add the remaining flour and continue beating until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl (2-3 minutes)
- remove half of the dough, roll into a ball, shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap
- add 4 drops of red food coloring to the remaining dough in the mixer and beat for 30 seconds to incorporate fully
- remove dough, roll into a ball, shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap
- refrigerate both dough disks for at least 2 hours
- remove the dough and let stand for 5 minutes
- pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats
- on a lightly floured surface roll each disk out to 1/4 inch thick
- using the cookie cutters cut out the desired shapes and line up on prepared baking sheets
- refrigerate the cookies until firm (about 15 minutes)
- bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. If baking more than one sheet at a time, switch the sheets between the racks and rotate 180 degrees halfway through baking
- transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely
- decorate as desired and enjoy!
*if not enjoying right away, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.