Saturday, December 17, 2011

Classic Christmas Cookies

In our family, it just isn't Christmastime until we make and decorate cookies. The recipe we've used for years from this 1960's cookbook is called Many Way Butter Cookies. Follow the recipe above and sub in soy margarine if you wish. Next, you just chill the dough in the fridge for an hour. Roll it out onto a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thicknes, and then deploy your cookie cutters. We liked bells, birds, and trees this time around.

The (memorized) glossy icing recipe is 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (sifted), 1/2 cup organic shortening, a splash of vanilla, and a few teaspoons or so of half-and-half to get it to come together. We divide that into 5 bowls and add a scant drop of coloring to 4 of them and leave one white. Anyone who has tried one of these cookies calls the next day for the recipe, so we wanted to share it with you.

We try to use really good ingredients so that brick-stomach, I-shouldn't-have-eaten-that feeling one gets after consuming some familiar holiday treats doesn't happen; this year, we went a step further and attempted to use healthy sprinkles, which looked like a pack of sad, colorless seeds once we removed them from the package. Sometimes, there's no replacing the classics.

This cookie-making-and-decorating tradition has been going on so long now, and I love it. It made for a great afternoon today, actually. Time spent cooking, joking, bickering, eating, and just plain hanging out with the family during the holidays is always the best. We hope you get to enjoy a bunch of it, too, this week as we head toward the big day.


tender b. said...

Pretty impressive decorating. These cookies are some of my all time favorites.

La Mode Operandi said...

They sound so simple to make! It seems like the simplest recipes are always the best. This goes on the recipe list for sure. Thank you for the great idea!

Alex said...

Is the confectioner's sugar part of it important? I'm not sure what the difference would be between confectioners and regular sugar in a cookie. I always thought confectioners sugar was just for icings or glazes.

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Not sure -- you could try it with reg, I bet, though. I've just always followed this old recipe to a T.