Laboriously Decorated Holiday Cookies
December 21, 2012
December is always a busy month, and this one seemed particularly so. As a result, I haven’t done a lot of interesting cooking lately (just lots of old, quick standbys!). But I did make holiday cookies and decorate them with a little help. For this batch, I wanted to make sure they tasted top-notch, so I made pretty-much full fat cookies (see Spooky Bats, Grinning Pumpkins and…Weird Looking Ghosts for my earlier adventure in lower-fat sugar cookies). I used my mom’s (mom’s) wonderful almond sugar cookie recipe, which I have loved since childhood.
I planned to use my standard powdered sugar and milk frosting since it makes such a nice shiny surface, but I needed some red and green coloring for it, so I stopped at Michael’s to pick up some gel food coloring. I also planned to get some sanding sugar or something, but ended up going a little overboard and bought gold and silver sugar ‘chunks’, as well as a container of little sugar spheres in six different colors. My black candy caviar from Halloween rounded out the sugary decorations.
After the cookies had cooled, I made up a batch of frosting, then colored one red (well, dark pink), one green, and left one white. And then three of us frosted and decorated. And frosted and decorated. And did some more. (By the time we got done my jeans were glazed with sugar in several spots – don’t ask.) But once we got done we had some great looking cookies! And how much fun are pink holiday bats?
Almond Swedish Sugar Cookies
makes 3-4 dozen
1+1/4 cups margarine*
1 cup sugar (I used mostly erythritol)
3+1/4 cups flour (I used whole-wheat white)
1 tsp baking powder
2 teaspoons almond extract
* I actually used 1/2 c light butter, and the rest was margarine. Note that light butter doesn’t cream well AT ALL, so you definitely want to make sure to use some real margarine in it, or just be prepared for it to not quite cream right.
Cream margarine and sugar together. Add eggs and almond extract, beating well. Add flour & baking powder. Cover & refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Roll dough thin on a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Transfer to cookie sheets either lined with parchment paper, or sprayed with cooking spay (I use a solid spatula to transfer them so they don’t fall apart). Bake @ 400 for 8-10 minutes.
Cool completely on a rack, then frost and decorate.