One of my favorite traditions is creating homemade goodies for my friends and family to enjoy during the Christmas season. I always threaten (and maybe know) that I don’t have time to do it, but they never let me skip a year, and truth is, I’m glad. There’s no feeling like seeing their eyes light up at something so decadent and yummy wrapped up in a beautiful package. It’s also a special time for me to pull out my grandmother’s Kitchenaid mixer, pick favorite family recipes and make every amazing dessert and sweet treat you can imagine.
Of course, even with a book full of options, I love a chance to add more pages, so today I’m at Proof of the Pudding to master (read: try my hardest to learn) a few new recipes and share festive ways to package the finished products into this year’s perfect gifts.
Christmas Sugar Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Proof of the Pudding
Sugar Cookie Recipe
YIELD: 3 dozen cookies
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 6-8 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 38 minutes
1 C unsalted butter
1 C granulated white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 C all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325° F. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes. Beat in extracts and egg.
In a separate bowl, combine baking powder and salt with flour. Once combined, add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer, turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand. DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH.
Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8). Bake for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.
1 lb powdered sugar (about 4 C or 450 grams)
4 egg whites (or 1/2 C liquid egg whites)
1 tsp lemon juice
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Switch to low speed and gradually sift the sugar into the egg whites until it’s completely incorporated. Then add the lemon juice and beat on high speed until the icing is very thick and forms stiff peaks, about 5-10 minutes.
At this point, you can add the food coloring, if you’re only going to need a full batch of one color. If you need more than one color, separate whatever quantities of icing you need into individual bowls and just stir in the coloring you want.
Now you can use royal icing to decorate your cookies.
After the cookies are done, don’t forget about the packaging to wrap your beautiful goodies to present to your family and friends!
Photography – Janet Howard Studio
Video – Joel Adrian
Cookies – Proof of the Pudding
Packaging – Paper Source