Christmas is probably my favorite time of year. I start in on the Christmas music early (Nov. 2nd this year). If it weren’t for my husband putting his foot down I would have had our tree up BEFORE thanksgiving. My house is slowly getting decorated as it is hard to get things done with Little underfoot but I just love it. Part of the Christmas season in my house has always involved an inordinate amount of baking. It is all so so so good.
Sugar cookies are a staple on the Christmas baking list. When I was little we would decorate them at the kitchen table, always consuming more frosting than any child should. Now that I have my own Little I wonder about my mother’s state of mind letting two wild children have that much contact with frosting- the perfect sugar high delivery vehicle. I loved decorating those cookies but can remember always being frustrated they weren’t perfect. We used a simple buttercream (butter, powdered sugar, a bit of milk) frosting. It was delicious but it was hard to be precise. When I got older and made the cookies at my house I always felt a bit blah about the frosting. Don’t get me wrong- I loved the flavor. I just wanted my cookies to look prettier.
With all these baking endeavors I have embarked on I have finally discovered how to decorate my cookies and make them look like I want them to! At first it took a couple of tries but I think I’ve got at least to my level of satisfaction. Lets not get crazy here, I am no perfectionist. The secret is to get the glaze/frosting the consistency of cold honey then put it in a squeeze bottle. It makes the whole process so easy! I used to pipe a thin border around the cookie then flood them with a thinner consistency icing. That was so.much.work. If you keep your glaze/frosting thick enough you can just squeeze a good amount on to the cookie then spread it around with a knife or small spatula.
1 1/2 cup Butter (I Use Unsalted)
2 cups Sugar
2 whole Eggs
2 whole Eggs Yolks
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoons Almond Extract
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add in 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks and mix until combined. Add in vanilla and almond extract; mix until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly (about a cup at a time) add flour to butter mixture and combine. Be careful to not overmix as this dough can get tough.
Put dough in some plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. When you are ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out, cut out cookies, and bake for 8-10 minutes.
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk
Food coloring (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the milk and mix until smooth. Add more milk 1 tsp at a time till it reaches the consistency of cold honey. Color with food coloring, place in squeeze bottles and frost your completely cool cookies.