Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Cookies

I'm going to do some baking this week and want your best Christmas recipes! I love making a few different types of cookies and delivering them to friends for the holidays. What is your tried and true cookie recipe that everyone gushes over? I'm making my favorite orange-vanilla sugar cookies that are my 3 year old tradition. They have fresh orange zest in the dough AND the frosting. Seriously amazing. Give me your recipes and links here so I have some inspiration!

Dreamsicle Sugar Cookies adapted from The Luna Cafe

1 cups butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 egg  
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of an entire orange (only the skin, not the white pith)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour

I wish I had a photo of mine, but I haven't made them since Halloween. photo credit

Beat the butter and sugar for at least a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, salt and vanilla and mix until combined. Add zest and mix for a few seconds. Now add your baking powder and flour and mix JUST until all of the flour is absorbed. It seriously takes about 30 seconds. Wrap the dough in wax or parchment paper and let it rest in the fridge for a half hour so it's easier to roll out. Sometimes I shape it into a log and wrap it in wax paper, and then just slice rounds and bake them that way. When I'm feeling adventurous I roll the dough out and use my Christmas cookie cutters. Either way, they're amazing! Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. I don't like any brown on mine because we are a soft cookie family. Plus, they stay fresh longer when they are a little underdone.

For the frosting I do this:
Mix a stick of softened butter with 3 cups of powdered sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add in about 2 Tablespoons of fresh orange juice and the zest of half an orange as well as 2 teaspoons of vanilla (I LOVE lots of vanilla). Sometimes you have to adjust based on the texture you want. I like thick frosting so I barely add any liquid. Top your cooled cookies!

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