When we were in high school, some of my friends and I decided that we needed to turn the first of December into a holiday called December Day. The only other day of the year that I get more excited than on December Day is Christmas. There is nothing bad about this month (except for finals). I love absolutely everything about Christmas from the decorations to the cookies. I even enjoy shopping in ridiculous mall crowds. I always get really furious in mall parking lots and shriek at people who take my spot, and then I just laugh about what a good Christmas scream I just had as I walk into the mall.
I made these cookies yesterday in order to celebrate the holiday, but I had class until three and did not manage to take photos of the cookies before the sun went down. Then of course today it’s been all rainy and gloomy for the first time in San Antonio since 10,000BC so hopefully you will forgive the lighting in my photos. I have made these cookies before for Halloween and posted an entry about them, but they are so good that I thought they needed another blog entry for Christmas!
This recipe is not for the dieters out there, and really I don’t believe in light baking. I can understand being healthy with dinners and other meals, but I don’t see the point in baking at all if it is not going to taste good. This recipe literally uses a pound of butter, and that is before you even get to the icing. The cookies just melt in your mouth, and I can guarantee that you will never eat a more delicious sugar cookie in your life.
I have seen a lot of people decorate Christmas cookies with royal icing to outline the cookie and then a thinner version to fill it so they just look all clean and perfect. I think they are absolutely beautiful, but I hate the taste of royal icing. I am a firm believer in messy but tasty cookies, so mine are not nearly as awesome looking as most of the ones that I have seen out there. I had these big decorating plans to do all sorts of piping and such on these cookies, but I got lazy and tried to buy the icing that comes in little piping tubes from HEB. Please don’t ever do that. I threw all of them out because they tasted awful. It didn’t even taste like icing. It’s like someone mixed licorice and playdough and squashed it into a tube. I put some mini M&Ms on a few of the trees and some blue sugar balls on the snowflakes, but then I spilled the thing of sugar balls all over my kitchen. My patience for decorating ran out pretty soon after that.
Christmas Sugar Cookies
2 cups butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp sugar
4 cups flour
Pinch of salt
Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until crumbly with the electric mixer. At some point, it will just be all crumbly, and the mixer will not really be of much help anymore.
Use either a wooden spoon or your hands (I always use my hands) to push the dough together into a big ball. Divide it into several smaller balls for rolling out (it just depends on your counter space and however much you are comfortable rolling out at one time). Roll out in a well-floured surface and cut out Christmas shapes! Transfer to a baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes.
4 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients with an electric mixer. Add extra milk or icing sugar as needed to get the consistency that you want for decorating. I recommend using gel food colouring instead of the liquid kind so that your consistency will not change when you add it.