Thursday, December 17, 2009

Food is Community December 2009: Christmas Cookies Part III

In the town where I live, the Crabtree sisters are legendary for their beauty and mad tennis skills but get to know them better and you'll find they can bake too!  These sisters are fortunate enough to live all within a thirty minute drive of each other, and amongst the cousins growing traditions together is getting together with the kids to decorate Christmas cookies.  Who doesn't love the classic holiday sugar cookie shaped with cookie cutters and decorated with icing and candies!?  Sugar cookies allow for the most kid participation because of the decorating - Frosty the snowman?  Christmas tree?  Star?  or in the case of my kids Unknown Object with too much icing and sprinkles?  Its a holiday tradition in the making.  The little hint about any batter with this much butter that you want to shape - if the dough gets warm the shapes will not be crisp, so make sure to keep what you are not using in the fridge.  

Sugar Cookies
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup soft butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract

(1) In food processor, beat softened butter (cut up), sugar, eggs and
almond extract until light and fluffy.  (2) Mix salt, baking powder and
flour together in separate bowl.  (3)  Gradually add flour mixture in to
food processor mix.  (4) Form a ball with the dough and refrigerate for
2-3 hours to firm.  (5) Cut the ball in half and place other half in the
refrigerator while you work with the other half.  (6) Place 1/2 of dough
on a floured pastry cloth and roll dough flat and shape with cookie cutters.
(7) Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or
less. (8) Frost/decorate as you wish! 

Note: I just made these this week - if you are looking for great decorating yummies - like the old fashioned pearl candies - check out Williams Sonoma stores!

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