Monday, December 16, 2013

Cookies, cookies, cookies!

This year, my roommate and I decided to bake cookies to give out to our friends before everyone went home for the holidays. For weeks we've been browsing Pinterest for holiday ideas and sending them to each other, and so we decided this would be a perfect time to give some of the baking ideas a try. Baking is much more enjoyable with friends and so last week two of our friends came over to help. Our cookie party was epic. We spent a little over 3 hours decorating dozens of cookies of different varieties and had a lot of fun in the process!

We made two dozen sugar cookies using Betty Crocker's sugar cookie mix. For the Santa cookies, we dyed part of the dough red (using Wilton gel icing dye--the best in my opinion) and just rolled the dough into the shapes we needed. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be! The regular sugar cookies are pretty self-explanatory. We rolled out the dough (coating everything in flour) and used cookie cutters to cut the dough. For the frosting, we made buttercream frosting. It is super easy to make and so good!

All you need is:
- 1/2 C of Crisco
- 1/2 C of butter
- 4 C of confectioner's sugar
- splash of vanilla extract
- 2 Tb of milk

This is obviously not a recipe to choose if you are dieting. When the butter is softened, cream the butter, vanilla extract, and Crisco together with a mixer. I say use a "splash" of vanilla because it's a preference of mine--I really like vanilla. The recipe calls for a teaspoon. After that, slowly begin adding in the confectioner's sugar and keep the mixer going on low while you add in the sugar. When you are done, it should have a whipped texture and taste very sweet. Add in the milk, mix it slightly, and you're done! To dye the frosting, we used various colors of Wilton gel icing.

This is a small sample, but I think they turned out pretty well! :)

To make the reindeer cookies we used Betty Crocker's peanut-butter cookie mix and added in peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. The antlers and eyes were done using black (and sparkly) icing gel and we used cinnamon candies for the noses. I think these cookies were my favorite!!

I neglected to take pictures of the mint chocolate chip cookies I made, but here's a quick run-down:

- 1 packet of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (follow directions on bag)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp of mint extract
- 6-8 drops of green food dye (I recommend 8)
- 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
-1 cups of creme-de-menthe chips

We rolled out the dough and used the cookie cutters on these as well, but many of them lost their shape while baking. However, they tasted good, and that's what matters!

I'm very grateful for my friends and an excellent night filled with talk, laughter, Christmas music, and cookies! Here's another of my holiday favorites:


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