Recipes: Christmas Cookies

A few days ago, it looked like a Christmas Cookie explosion in my house. I made shortbread, ginger molasses, and sugar cookies, and then put them in seasonal tins to give away.  Each of these three kinds of cookies is easy to make and hard to screw up.  Perfect, right? The shortbread is the most labour-intensive because there is some rolling and cutting involved, but it’s not too difficult.  The hardest part is not eating too many on your own (danger)! Here are my recipes below:

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SHORTBREAD COOKIES (my Mom’s recipe)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
+ sprinkles (optional)

  1. In a large bowl add cornstarch, icing sugar and half of the flour.
  2. Add the butter and work with your hands.
  3. Remove from bowl onto your counter and knead in the rest of the flour until it is all used up.
  4. Lightly flour your counter and roll out dough to about a half inch thickness and cut out in any shape you wish using cookie cutters (or, if you don’t have cookie cutters, use the rim of a glass to make rounds).
  5. Place the cookies one inch apart on a cookie sheet (no need to grease it) and add any sprinkles if you like (optional).
  6. Bake at 300 degrees in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes (they really shouldn’t brown).  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES  (inspired by allrecipes.com)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

  1. Sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses.  Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.  Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

SUGAR COOKIES (from Butter Baked Goods recipe book – I adore this book, by the way!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
+ sugar for sprinkling

  1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and oil on medium to high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the sugar and mix well until well combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat briefly after each addition.  Add the vanilla and beat again to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.  The dough should be quite pale in colour.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop to drop 24 equally sized portions of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Use the palm of your hand to press down lightly on the top of each dough portion to flatten slightly, then sprinkle with a little sugar.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden around the edges and cracked in the center.
  8. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.

 

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Hope you enjoy them!

xoxo
Karine

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