Last night I got to video chat with my parents and see how “home” looks this year with the Christmas decorations and nativity scenes set out. I heard about the plans of all the relatives to come to my parents’ house for the holidays and it made me realize that Christmas is just around the corner! Somehow, in the midst of a busy month of work, mixed with the tropical climate, I have been in a bit of a different mindset than those bundled up in mittens and sweaters.
I have a little toaster oven, so we were limited to 3 sugar cookies at a time. It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without the holiday baking fury that I love to do, but I thought I’d go ahead and share 2 of our favorite cookie recipes…not so much for your benefit (though they are each amazing!), but in all of our moving around, I have hit the panic button more than a couple times when I have thought I lost these recipes, so I will enter them into the time capsule of our blog to safeguard their keeping!
If you do try them, let me know how they turn out (or, better yet, send me a sample and I’ll let you know!). 🙂 Or, if you have a good recipe for a dish (salty or sweet) that doesn’t require baking, please let us know! We’re getting a little bored with our chocolate oatmeal “no-bake cookies.”
This sugar cookie recipe appeared in Taste of Home several years ago and we’ve used it every Christmas, no matter where we we happen to be at Christmastime. White Velvet Cutouts
2 cups butter, softened (no substitutes!) 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened 2 cups sugar 2 egg yolks 1 tsp. vanilla 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Butter Cream Frosting: 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided 3 Tbsp. butter, softenend (no substitutes…we really like real butter) 1/2 tsp. vanilla 3-4 Tbsp. milk, divided food coloring as desired
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar, egg yolks and vanilla; mix well. Gradually, add flour. Cover and chill for 2 hours or until firm. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch shapes; place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until set (not browned). Cool for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.
For frosting, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, vanilla, and 3 Tbsp. milk in mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Gradually add remaining sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add enough remaining milk and food coloring until frosting reaches desired consistency. Frost cookies.
Yield: about 7 dozen
Our other favorite is, of course, chocolate chip cookies. We’ve tried to find a recipe that we like as much as Wild Oats’ Speltacular Chocolate Chip cookies and this was the closest we could find. Last Christmas, we made them at our friends’ house, and like usual, few cookies ever make it through the “cooling” stage!
Secret Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup rolled oats, regular or quick 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1 cup butter, softened 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 tsp vanilla 1 tsp lemon juice (to activate the baking soda for a softer, chewier cookie) 2 eggs 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup chopped raisins 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray lightly. Place rolled oats in blender or food processor and process until finely ground. Combine ground oats, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
In another bowl, cream butter, sugars, vanilla, and lemon juice together using an electric mixer. Add eggs and beat until fluffy.
Stir the flour mixture into egg mixture, blending well. Add the chocolate chips, raisins and nuts to the dough and mix well. Using 1/4 cup of dough for each cookie, scoop round balls with an ice-cream scoop and place 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake until cookies are set or lightly browned (12-14 minutes). Transfer to wire rack to cool. Store in a sealed container to keep them soft and chewy.