Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cookies and sprinkles and icings, oh my!

Tools of the trade - brightly colored buttercream frosting and a set of inexpensive paint brushes

Sometimes baking and decorating Christmas cutout cookies can be a bit overwhelming - the mixing, the chilling, the rolling, the cutting, the baking, the glazing, the icing, the sprinkling, the cleaning . . . the collapsing.

But this time I rolled with the dough, provided the tools and sat back and watched a little magic happen.

My daughter, 19, is responsible for the "pretty in pink" doll on the left. Her boyfriend's little sis, 10, made the adorable little "beach boy," complete with eye lashes on the right. Both used paint brushes to apply food coloring or buttercream frosting.

Little Sis created this masterful Christmas tree with a simple technique: Glaze the cookie in a concoction of powdered sugar and water and then add the fine strokes with food coloring and a paint brush. She sprinkled on a little sugar glitter for pizazz.

Granny's Sugar Cookies
(From a 32-year-old Tupperware recipe I found in my box.)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

- Cream together butter and sugar.

- Blend in egg.
- Sift together salt, baking powder and flour. Add to mixture.
- Blend vanilla into mixture.
- Chill dough approximately one hour.
- Roll dough to desired thickness (about 1/8") and cut out shapes.
Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet (or cookie sheet with parchment paper) in 375 degree preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Easy Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons water

Combine ingredients until lumps disappear. Spoon on cookies or dip cookie directly into the glaze.

Buttercream Frosting
(Will post this later.)

I like the minimalist look in decorating. My contributions are the red-nosed reindeer in the back of the plate.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I'll take the little yellow-haired girl.

Hope to have that little coffee & cake thing soon after Christmas. Save a reindeer. God Jul, Susan. You've been a pleasure to know, and I'm so glad you never made me dig that pool.

Barbara Fleeman said...

My compliments to your daughter -- very creative and beautifully executed. To get that kind of detail out of icing is most impressive. We decorated gingerbread houses and wound up just spooning on and spreading the icing to stick the candy on.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Anonymous said...

You know about my sugar cookie. Bet you looked out your window after I left to make sure I was gone and dumped them.
I'm moving on now to the butternut squash dish. I have a b. squash, two yams and a sack of shreaded cheese. I'm bracing myself for the challenge.

Susan C said...

AH, Not so fast - I still may need to start digging a pool in 2009!

Barbara, I'm very impressed that you took on gingerbread houses. And can't wait to hear about your squash gratin.

AH, Actually, your sugar cookies were VERY good. And you ARE as strong as a lumberjack; I'm sure of it. You'll have no trouble hacking up that squash! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

These cookies made me very nostalgic. They look so yummy!
Happy Holidays! ~ unhipla.com

Laurie Allee said...

These are wonderful. I'm still trying to figure out how to bake sugar cookies without wheat flour. Rice flours are too grainy by themselves and I haven't landed on the right mix yet, so I never get to actually eat my creations!

(Having a wheat allegy is a particularly big bummer at Christmastime!)

My daughter and I made sugar cookies at Thanksgiving and bought store tube icings in "traditional autumn colors." Those colors looked like congealed blood and black ink. I'll never try to cut corners on time again!

Susan C said...

Thanks, unhip.

"congealed blood and black ink" - LOL! You really paint a lovely picture, Laurie!

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i agree your idea ! very nice blog

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