Monday, December 12, 2011

Oh, sweet sugar.

Up first on IBB's Bake-a-thon? The sugar cookies. My Mom made a special request for these to be first, seeing as our family enjoys letting the younglings (that is, the children) decorate them! So the earlier they're done, typically, the better. I'll be making a few batches of these, one with lemon extract rather than vanilla, but I promise, I won't do a million sugar cookie posts.


Ahem. The thing about sugar cookies is you really need to let the dough chill overnight. An hour or two might work, but it was (and is!) easier for me to make the dough the night before my day off and make them the next day. Unfortunately, as I came home from work exhausted, I barely made the dough, let alone remembered pictures. Sorry, guys!

The next day, after work (yeah, got called in, whoops!) I decided to pop out a few batches of them. Not all, since I had a lecture at 9, but a few.

This recipe was courtesy of Bakingdom, seen first in her Alice in Wonderland cookies. But I'm pretty sure she uses this recipe like, religiously. And after trying them? I totally understand why. There was a minor tweak I had to make at the last minute when making this dough, though. Rather than use butter, I had to use the last of my Crisco shortening sticks.

The results were awesome. I haven't made the ones with butter yet (next on my list!), but I'm pretty sure there's going to be only slight, if any, differences. So! On to the shapes.

I've always found it easy to place them before pushing them down. This way you can fit as many cutters as you need in a sheet of dough before pressing, and you can change your mind if you need to! Simply place, then press. I've rolled my dough about 1/6th of an inch thick (maybe 1/8th? I didn't measure!) before cutting, and they were perfectly made.

After cutting your cookies, place them on the baking sheet, then pop 'em in the oven. The recipe called for 10 minutes, but with the way mine was reacting, only 8 minutes in the oven were needed and 2 minutes on the sheet afterward for these babies!

See? Beautiful, yeah? And they taste so good. Not too sweet (thank god), but with enough flavor to stand up on their own. My mom complained of a plain taste, but she's the type of woman who likes sugar upon sugar upon sugar, so we'll just ignore her opinion this time.

Don't tell her I said that. Ahem. Well! One down, five to go. I'll see you next time, guys. ;D

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Carols and Cookies Abound

It's official: Winter Christmas is coming. In places of retail, carols are played obnoxiously on repeat. Santa has begun making the rounds in shopping malls and Christmas festivals. My little sister is learning Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer like it's a religious hymn. There is a panic in the air; will I buy the right toy? Will it be sold out? When will they get more in?

Yep. Christmas. But it isn't just about the presents, or the horribly remixed Christmas carols. It's about sharing things you love with people you like. Or maybe that's backwards. Either way, one thing I love about this time of the year is the need to crank up our oven and crunch out cookies like a factory. We go through cookies like water in this house, so keeping a steady supply on hand is essential. We'd like them to last til Christmas. We'll be happy if they last til Christmas Eve, really...

And since this time of year means noshing on cookies constantly, I find it necessary to come into the season with a baking game plan. I'm getting into the game late, actually, as it is the third, but I've finally pegged out a short list of cookies to make this year. I decided full-on to focus on simple recipes that can be recreated as needed in case someone gets into a binge and eats them all.

So, without further ado, Itty Bitty Baker's Itty Bitty Cookie List:

1. Peanut Butter Cookies. Yes, the same ones I've made in the past in the blog. These went over so well, I only got a couple out of the two batches I made! Total winner, they have to be made again for Christmas or my Mom and my managers at work might string me from a carriage and drag me through town.
2. Peanut Butter Blossoms. We do blossom-type cookies every year, so I was really excited to see peanut butter ones. My Dad, J, has a soft spot for them, so I'm hoping they'll go over well this year. We'll see!
3. Sugar Cookies. A Christmas staple, shaped into a myriad of shapes and frosted. This year, I'm going to try icing a few myself with a more detailed approach before letting Shaunna go at it with frosting and a butterknife.
4. Chocolate Chip Cookies. As you can tell, there is no linked recipe here. I still haven't found a recipe I'm anxious to try! Woe is me. I'm perusing my usual bloghaunts in pursuit of a proper recipe, but until then, this is a maybe.
5. Black and White Cookies. These are a New York staple, but no one in my family has ever had them! So I'm going to try making some, but these might fall into the week between Christmas and New Year's rather than as a Christmas cookie. 
6. Spritz Cookies. My mom has a cookie press, and she really wants a spritz dough to use in it. So I'm appeasing the Mother with this recipe, and I hope it turns out well.

There you have it, guys. Six cookies and, hopefully, five blog posts from now til Christmas to look forward to! Do you have any suggestions? Any go-to recipes for Christmas? Share the love, guys. Everyone can use more cookie recipes in their repertoire.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...