Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Sugar Cookies 2012- Polar Bears



I wanted to share the decorated sugar cookies I made a few weeks ago.  These were made for my neighbor's annual cookie exchange party and I just loved how they turned out!  Click HERE to view last year's holiday themed sugar cookies.

I have been working on a step-by-step video and while it won't be ready by Christmas, I hope to post it soon.  In the meantime, I hope these provide some inspiration and the classic recipe is listed below.


This years cookie exchange had so many delicious cookies, including chocolate rum balls, buttered rum meltaways (can never have too much rum, right? ;)) coconut macaroons, chocolate-peppermint biscotti, and many more.   The hostess always provides the recipes and I hope to share some of these in future too.


I really loved how these came out.  The polar bears are simple and cute but my favorites were these trees with snow...they just make me happy :)


Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

Parchment paper or Silpat mat

Directions:

-In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
-In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes.
-Add the egg and vanilla and beat another minute or so.
-Add the flour mixture slowly. (Be careful not to add too much at a time or you will have a snowstorm of flour.)
-Blend until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
-Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a piece of parchment paper. 
-Using your hands, knead the dough a few times.
-Place the dough in a large plastic (Ziploc type) bag and refrigerate for about 2 hours. If you want to speed up the chilling process, place the bag of dough in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. Just don't forget it in the freezer, or it will become to firm to work with (and then you'll have to wait for it to thaw). 
-When it's almost time to remove the dough from the refrigerator (or freezer), preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
-When the dough has chilled and is firm, take out about half of the dough, leaving the rest in the refrigerator (until your ready to work with it).

Royal Icing

Ingredients: 
4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder (I use Wilton Brand)
4 cups (about 1 pound) powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract


Directions:
Beat all ingredients until stiff peaks form. 
*Make sure all bowls and utensils are totally grease-free or your icing will never reach proper consistency.
Spoon some of the thick white icing into individual bowls and add coloring.  Then divide each colored batch in half.  Carefully, add and stir warm water to the icing to get a think and a thin "flooding" consistency.  Decorate your cookies.  Cookies will need 12-24 hours to dry completely.

Source: Glorious Treats

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