Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holiday Cookies

Original Post 12/24/09

This year, I planned to break out and make other cookies other than my usual decorated gingerbread and sugar cookies.  Didn't happen.  Making these cookies look colorful pretty much sucked all my cooking time so I didn't get to the others on my list.

However,  with only hours to go until Christmas eve dinner with my family I am still thinking about a Martha Stewart recipe for peppermint meringues with chocolate ganache filling.  As I'm typing this, I'm wondering if I have enough time to once again dive back in the kitchen to make them.  Hopeless addict.

The first recipe I made were poinsettias cookies

I did these last year, promptly ignored the size instructions in the recipe and made the leaves too big.  They spread quite a bit while baking so I ended up with these HUGE Christmas flowers that looked like poinsettias on steroids.  This year I made them half the size.

Second up were the peppermint flavored candy canes

These were a pain in the butt to twist evenly so as you can see from this picture,  most of them came out wonky.  The dough for this recipe tastes good but I found it hard to work with.  Next time I will experiment with another dough recipe.

Then it was on to make the gingerbread cookies.

The recipe I have in my files for gingerbread rolled cookies is handwritten. I have no idea where it came from and it must be 20 years old.  It's the one I always use with the exception of doubling the spices.  I like my gingerbread cookies to have a kick.  I am a spice girl in general and amp up the spice and flavor in most things I make and eat.

While I was mixing I wasn't feeling motivated to do the traditional gingerbread men.  So I came up with the idea of making gingerbread teddy bears in jeans and Holiday T shirts.  To get the jeans effect, I used royal icing which I tint white with Wilton's white white and then dipped them in royal blue colored sugar crystals.

Then it was onto the sugar cookies. I use a plain old sugar cookie recipe, again way old and handwritten.   Don't know where it came from. I have a huge selection of cookie cutters.  Too many to disclose the exact number because it would either be embarrassing or sound like I was bragging. I try to rotate them every year and not use the same shapes.  No one probably notices this but me.

I decided to so a batch of snowflakes first. High end decorating supplies are hard to score in Germany.  I usually stock up when I am in the USA.  When I was in Basel, Switzerland two weeks ago, I was able to find some luster dust, large crystals and spray on silver. So I decided to give them a whirl with the snowflakes.

Then I mixed the colors to do the other shapes.

I was not pleased with the way the snowmen came out.  They were just too plain.  If I had more time I would have embellished them further, perhaps with a piece of striped candy for a scarf and maybe rolled them in coconut flakes.

The Rudolphs just didn't work.  I am blaming it on the cookie cutter.  The Rudolph head looked cute when I bought it, even when I cut out the cookies. However, when I stated to paint them I realized the shape would be hard to articulate with frosting because it's made wrong.  The head is turned to the side to show off the nose but both ears are facing front which would been an impossible feat for a real live reindeer.  Despite several attempts. I just couldn't get it right.  I probably should have left it brown with a red nose. Can you believe I am actually ragging on a cookie cutter?  I know...get a life.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

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