Category Archives: Cookies

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (Honorable Mentions)

These cookies did not make the Top 12, but were close runners-up. If you are looking for more baking ideas, these are sure to please! Also included are some of our favorite Christmas candies.

Honorable Mentions:


Chocolate Walnut Puddle Cookies

Chocolate Walnut Puddle Cookies

Christmas Fortune Cookies

Christmas Fortune Cookies

Almond Toffee Triangles

Almond Toffee Triangles

Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Cookies

Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Cookies

Peanut Butter Snowflake Cookies

Peanut Butter Snowflake Cookies

Raspberry Crumb Bars

Raspberry Crumb Bars

Christmas M&M Cookies

Christmas M&M Cookies

Rocky Road Cookies

Rocky Road Cookies

Snickerdoodles

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Almond Toffee Sandies

Almond Toffee Sandies

Caramel Pecan Bars

Caramel Pecan Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies

Favorite Christmas Candies:

Homemade Caramels

Homemade Caramels

Chocolate Nutella Fudge

Chocolate Nutella Fudge

Turtle Pretzel Snaps

Turtle Pretzel Snaps

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark Snowflakes

Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles

Christmas Caramel Chex Mix

Christmas Caramel Chex Mix

Lots More Christmas Cookies and Treats:

1st Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2009)

2nd Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2010)

3rd Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2011)

4th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2012)

5th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2013)

6th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2014)

7th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2015)

8th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2016)

9th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2017)

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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies Recap

After an extensive process of nominations and voting, these are the cookies that our family voted as their favorites. It is not an exhaustive list, and the voting may have been skewed by the child who hates anything chocolate. Tomorrow I will share a few Honorable Mentions and some favorite Christmas candies.

Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!

DAY 1: Christmas Cherry Pecan Cookies

Christmas Cherry Pecan Cookies

DAY 2: Lofthouse Style Soft Sugar Cookies

Lofthouse Cookies 3

DAY 3: Swedish Peppar KaKar (soft, mild gingerbread)

ninjabread-men-3

DAY 4: Russian Teacakes

Russian Tea Cakes 2

DAY 5: Sugar Cookies

Snow Capped Christmas TreesStained Glass Sugar CookiesSugar Cookies 2Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

DAY 6: Chewy Molasses Cookies

Chewy Molasses Crinkles

DAY 7: Andes & Rolo Cookies

Andes and Rolo Cookies

DAY 8: Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread (12)

DAY 9: Old-Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

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DAY 10: Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

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DAY 11: Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies

Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies (7)

DAY 12: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints 1

 

 

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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints 1

DAY 12: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Four of my five children voted this cookie as their favorite all-time Christmas cookie.

I like to make these cookies with a homemade caramel filling. With a candy thermometer, the caramel filling comes together quickly and turns a good cookie into a fabulous one!

You can also make the filling with melted packaged caramels. If you want to take the “easy” route and buy a bag of Kraft Caramels, that recipe can be found HERE.

Here is my tip for getting a good deep pocket for all of that amazing caramel: Use the back of a rounded measuring spoon and press it into the center of each cookie. I use a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon on the raw cookie dough before baking:

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints 2

Then I use  a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon on the hot, baked cookie. (The cookies do spread a little when they are baked, leaving a larger opening). This is a good alternative to actually using (and burning) your thumbs.

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints 3

ORIGINAL BLOG POSTS:

      (2017): Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies with Homemade Caramel Filling

     (2009): Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies with Filling made from Packaged Caramels

RECIPE:

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints 1

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/4  cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups finely chopped pecans

Homemade Caramel Filling (recipe below)

Glaze:
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs corn syrup

Prepare Cookies: Combine butter, sugar, egg yolks, milk and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Add flour, cocoa powder and salt. Beat until well combined. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place egg whites in a small bowl. Place finely chopped pecans in a bowl. Set aside. Roll dough into balls. Dip balls into egg white and then into pecans. (I find this easier if I make a whole baking sheet worth of dough balls, then dip them in egg/pecans). Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Make a small indentation in the center of each cookie with the back of measuring spoon (I use a ½ teaspoon) or your thumb.

Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes, or until cookies are set.

While cookies are still hot, press center again (use the back of a round 1 teaspoon measuring spoon). Cool.

Prepare Caramel Filling (recipe below).
Spoon small amount of warm caramel into centers of baked cookies. Carefully remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Prepare Chocolate Glaze: Combine bittersweet chips, butter and corn syrup in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 20-30 seconds if not melted. Let cool slightly. Pour chocolate into a small Ziploc freezer bag. Poke a hole in the corner of the bag (a bamboo skewer makes a perfect sized hole). Drizzle chocolate over the cooled cookies. Cool until set.

To store: refrigerate or freeze cookies in individual layers; then store between layers of waxed paper in the refrigerator or freezer. They can also be stored at room temperature, but if you stack them, they will stick together.


Homemade Caramel Filling

1 cup unsalted butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark)
1 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbs heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt

Combine butter, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, corn syrup and heavy cream in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Reduce heat to medium low, maintaining a low but continuous simmer, until caramel reaches 235°F (soft ball stage), stirring occasionally. This will take about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.

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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies

Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies 4

DAY 11: Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies

The votes for the top two favorite Christmas cookies in our house were very close. These were the runner-up.

My linzer cookies are not a traditional European linzer cookie which usually has an almond flour based dough that is spiced with cinnamon and fruit extracts. The traditional cookie also comes out crispy rather than soft. (I am almost always in the soft cookie camp.) I use one of my sugar cookie dough recipes to make these, but roll the dough thinner than I do for regular sugar cookies. As long as you don’t overbake them, these cookies stay soft and tender after baking.

These cute cookies are also a great addition to a wedding cookie table.

Linzer cookie cutters usually come in a set. This is a Christmas set, but there are also other fun varieties. To keep the dough from sticking to your center cookie cutter, dip it in flour before each cut (tap on counter to remove any excess flour). A toothpick is a good way to get out the center piece of dough.

Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies (1)Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies (8)

Save those tiny centers. They make great tiny sugar cookies!

Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies (2)

Warm the jam in the microwave for 10 seconds and stir until smooth. Frost a bottom cookie with the almond frosting and top with a small dollop of seedless raspberry jam. Place a cut-out cookie on top and press down slightly.

Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies (3)

This recipe makes a lot of cookies. I will usually use half of the dough to make Linzer Cookies and the other half to make regular sugar cookies.

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2009): Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies

RECIPE:

Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies

Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies 4

Cookie Dough:
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
About 7 – 7 ½ cups flour
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Filling:
1 cup butter, softened
2 Tbs heavy cream or milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 lb (about 4 cups) powdered sugar
12 oz jar seedless raspberry jam, about 1 ½ cups

 

For Cookies: In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, butter, sour cream, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Mix in 4 cups of flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour for easier handling.

Roll dough fairly thin, about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut cookies with a linzer cookie cutter or use small round cookie cutter and smaller designed cookie cutter to make tops and bottoms.  Be sure to cut out even numbers of cookie tops and bottoms.

Bake at 375°F for 5-6 minutes; do not brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

For Filling: Combine butter, cream, vanilla and almond extracts in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar. Frost the bottom side of each solid cookie (without the cut-out) with a small amount of frosting.

Heat raspberry jam in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make it easier to spread. Use a small spoon to place about ½ tsp raspberry jam in the center of the frosting on each cookie.

Place top cookie (with cut-out design) over filling and jam. Store in refrigerator.

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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies 2

DAY 10: Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

A slightly fancier shortbread, these are one of my very favorite cookies. Orange flavored not-too-sweet shortbread cookies dipped in dark chocolate; I love this flavor combination.

The dough is shaped into a log, refrigerated until firm and then sliced into rounds to bake. Dipping only half the cookie keeps the fingers much cleaner than trying to dip the whole cookie!

Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies 1

You can also shape the dough logs into squares or triangles if you are looking to provide some variety of shape on your Christmas cookie tray. I wrapped my dough log in plastic wrap and then pressed it into an empty plastic wrap/foil box and used the box edges to form the mold for the dough.

 

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2012): Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread

RECIPE:

Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies 2

1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp pure orange extract
1 tsp fresh orange zest
2 1/3 cups flour
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil or shortening

Use a mixer to cream butter and sugar  until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and orange extracts and orange zest. Gradually blend in flour.

Roll the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough log in clear plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and slice dough with a sharp knife into 1/4″ slices, reshaping dough into circles, as necessary. Place cookies onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove immediately to wire rack to cool.

While cookies cool, heat chocolate and coconut oil (or shortening) in a double boiler. Dip half of each cooled cookie in the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.

OPTIONAL: You can also shape the dough logs into squares or triangles if you are looking to provide some variety of shape on your Christmas cookie tray. I wrapped my dough log in plastic wrap and then pressed it into an empty plastic wrap/foil box and used the box edges to form the mold for the dough.

(Recipe adapted from Smells Like Home)

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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Old-Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons 3

DAY 9: Old-Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

Traditional coconut macaroons are always a fan favorite here.. These macaroons are flourless, gluten-free cookies made from coconut, egg whites, sugar, and almond extract.

Coconut Macaroons 2

They are technically more of a candy than a cookie, but sugar is sugar however you categorize it.

Coconut Macaroons

The “dough” is cooked on the stove prior to baking, which leaves you with a wonderful chewy macaroon on the inside and crispy toasted coconut on the outside.

Dipping the bottoms in chocolate is optional, but I definitely recommend it.

Coconut Macaroons 1

 

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2010): Old Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

RECIPE:

Old-Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons 3

1 (14 oz) pkg flaked sweetened coconut
6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp almond extract
1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, melted (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper or silicone liners.

In a medium saucepan, stir together coconut, egg whites, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly (a spoon drawn through the mixture should leave a clean path). Remove from heat; stir in almond extract.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets (I use a small cookie scoop). Let stand on cookie sheets for 15 minutes before baking. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on pan for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack. Cool completely.

Dip bottoms of macaroons in melted chocolate, if desired. Place on waxed paper until chocolate has hardened.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread (12)

DAY 8: Scottish Shortbread

Sometimes simplicity makes for the best cookie. There is nothing fancy about this shortbread. Just good, quality ingredients that combine to make a cookie that melts in your mouth. A perfect companion to a cup of homemade hot cocoa.

Scottish Shortbread (5)

For a fancier treat, dip half of each cookie in melted dark chocolate.

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2013): Scottish Shortbread

RECIPE:

Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread (5)

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
4 ½ cups flour
OPTIONAL: 6 oz dark chocolate (about 1 cup chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Make sure that butter is very soft, but not melted. Cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer for a full 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt. Gradually add flour, mixing well.

Lightly sprinkle flour on a pastry board or mat. Gently press dough into a rectangle ½” thick (about 10”x 12”). Use a rolling pin to level out the top of the dough. Cut dough into 1” strips lengthwise and then into 2-3” wide rectangles. Prick each cookie with a fork about 4 times.

Use a thin metal spatula to transfer unbaked cookies to an ungreased baking sheet, leaving a small space between cookies. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on a wire rack.

OPTIONAL: Melt chocolate and pour into a narrow bowl or cup. Dip half of each cooled cookie in the melted chocolate. Place on parchment paper or wax paper to harden.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Rolo and Andes Mint Cookies

Andes and Rolo Cookies

DAY 7:  Andes & Rolo Cookies

This recipe is a great “two-fer”. You can make two completely different cookies from the same basic chocolate dough.

The Rolo Cookies have a Rolo candy nestled inside of the chocolate dough. Eat them warm for a delicious gooey caramel cookie.

Rolo Cookies (2)

The Andes Cookies have a melted Andes mint swirled on the top of a baked chocolate cookie.

The original recipe uses regular Andes, but when I make these I prefer the Andes Parfait mints, that have 2 green layers on the outside and a chocolate middle layer. It makes a nice contrast with the chocolate cookie. Unfortunately, they are sometimes hard to find in stores.

Andes Cookies 2

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2009): Chocolate Rolo or Andes Cookies

RECIPES:

Chocolate Rolo or Andes Cookies

Rolo Cookies (2)

Chocolate Rolo Cookies

¾ cup butter
1 ½ cups packed brown sugarclip_image002
2 Tbs water
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
2 ½ cups flourclip_image002[1]
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
Rolos (5-6 dozen)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine butter, sugar and water. Heat until melted and add chocolate chips. Stir until mostly melted. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted. Pour mixture into large mixing bowl. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly. Beat in eggs one at a time on high speed. Add flour, salt and baking soda; mix on low speed until well blended. Dough will be very soft, almost liquid. If desired, chill for 1 hour for easier handling (you can usually use the dough in less than an hour).

Take about 1 Tbs dough and wrap it around a Rolo (use just enough dough to completely cover Rolo). Place on baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes (Do not overcook; cookies will still look a little underdone). Cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 5-6 dozen cookies

.Andes Cookies 2

Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies:

Chocolate Dough (see recipe above)
About 24 Andes mints (see note below)

Prepare dough as above (for Rolo cookies). Roll into 1” balls and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Place half of an Andes mint  on top of each hot cookie. Allow to melt slightly and then swirl with a toothpick.

NOTE: The original recipe uses regular Andes, but when I make these I prefer the Andes Parfait, that have 2 green layers on the outside and a chocolate middle layer. It makes a nice contrast with the chocolate cookie.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

(Original Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies recipe from Recipezaar)

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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chewy Molasses Crinkles

Chewy Molasses Crinkles

DAY 6: Chewy Molasses Crinkles

These are a soft and chewy molasses cookie, similar in taste to gingerbread, but without the work of rolling and cutting dough.

I love the way the house smells while these are baking! Better than a scented candle any day.

2018-09-24 16.24.54

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2016): Chewy Molasses Crinkles

RECIPE:

Chewy Molasses Crinkles

2018-09-24 16.24.54

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Sugar: ½ cup sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.  Add egg and egg yolk and beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in the molasses and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat until mixed.

Cover and chill dough for one hour. In a small bowl, stir together the ½ cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Roll the chilled dough into 1” balls and then roll the balls in the Cinnamon Sugar mixture. Place dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-9 minutes.  Do not overbake, or they will no longer be chewy. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen

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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies 1

DAY 5: Sugar Cookies (Two Doughs/Many Variations)

Sugar Cookies are the iconic Christmas treat. Good thing they are also extremely versatile. Once you have your sugar cookie base, you can easily change up the design for very different looks and tastes. I have two basic sugar cookie doughs that I like to use. The first is a soft, thick dough that stays pillowy soft and tender after baking. This is the dough I use for most of my sugar cookies:

Sugar Cookies 2

But if I need really sharp edges, and absolutely no spread when the dough is baked, I go with the dough below. The cookies are still soft if you don’t overbake them, but they are more dense than the other recipe.

Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

Whichever dough you choose, you can make traditional frosted sugar cookies, with various types of icing, or try something just a little different. These two options are actually easier than frosting with a regular icing.

Snow Capped Christmas Trees:

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies:

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies 2

ORIGINAL BLOG POSTS:
Soft and Thick Sugar Cookies (2009)
Sharp Edged Sugar Cookies (2014)
Snow Capped Christmas Trees (2016)
Stained Glass Sugar Cookies (2016)

RECIPE:

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies 2

Soft and Thick Sugar Cookies

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
About 7 – 7 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, butter, sour cream, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Mix in 4 cups of flour, the baking soda, and salt. Mix in enough additional flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour for easier handling. Roll out dough to desired thickness (about 1/4” thick) and cut with cookie cutter.

Bake at 375°F for 10 -11 minutes; if they brown, it’s been too long.  They should look white when done.

Frost and decorate as desired.

Yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutter and the thickness of your dough. I got 6 dozen cookies made from 3” cookie cutters.

Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

Sharp Edged Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour

Royal Icing
Optional: Shimmery Sanding Sugar or Coarse Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in extracts and egg.

In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and slowly mix into the wet ingredients. The dough will be stiff.

Do not chill dough. Roll dough out onto a floured surface to almost 1/4 inch. You want these cookies to be thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookie shapes and place on baking sheets.

Bake for 7-9 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutter and the thickness of your dough. I got 25 cookies made from 4” snowflake cookie cutters.

(Sharp edged sugar cookie dough from In Katrina’s Kitchen)

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)
Green food coloring
About 12 oz white chocolate, or white melting candy discs

Prepare sugar cookie dough.  Mix in a few drops of green food coloring. Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour, if necessary, for easier handling. Roll out dough and cut out with Christmas tree cookie cutter.

Bake according to sugar cookie dough recipe.

Place white chocolate in a bowl at least as wide as the cookie sides you will be dipping. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each heating, until melted and smooth. Dip each edge of the cooled cookies in the melted chocolate and place on waxed paper to harden.

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)
1 package Jolly Rancher candies, cut in half for small openings

Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Roll out dough to about 1/8” and cut out with large  cookie cutters. Place shapes on lined baking sheets. Cut out a smaller shape inside of each cookie  (after placing on baking sheet). I used the centers from a linzer cookie cutter set to make the center openings

Place half of a Jolly Rancher candy in the center of each cookie. Use a whole Jolly Rancher if the opening is large enough to lay the entire candy down inside the opening.

Bake according to sugar cookie dough recipe. Cool completely on the baking sheet. When candy centers are completely cool and hardened, remove cookies to a sheet of parchment paper.

Store covered between layers of waxed paper or parchment paper. The candy centers will stick together if they touch.

Frostings

Sugar Cookies 2

Glacé Icing

1 lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
¼ cup+ 2 Tbs  whole milk
¼ cup + 2 Tbs light corn syrup
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
Gel food coloring
Additional powdered sugar to reach piping consistency

With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and almond or vanilla extract. Add food coloring for desired colors.

You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. The way it is right now is the consistency you want for glazing. It’s smooth and thin. It easily runs off of a whisk in a thin drizzle.

To prepare the icing for piping, add additional powdered sugar until icing is stiff, but spoonable.

(Glacé Icing from Our Best Bites)

Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

Royal Icing

2 Tbs meringue powder
scant ¼ cup water
½ lb powdered sugar (about 2 cups)
½  tsp light corn syrup

Combine the meringue powder and water in a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat until foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Mix in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 3-5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

For Snowflakes: Use a thick open circle decorator tip to pipe thick lines onto each snowflake. Sprinkle cookie with sanding sugar or sprinkles immediately after piping lines (on each cookie). Icing will harden quickly.

Chocolate Butterfly Cupcakes 11

Cooked Vanilla Icing

1 cup whole milk
5 Tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar (do not use powdered sugar)
Optional: food coloring

In a small saucepan, mix the flour and milk until combined. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens (and is just about to boil). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl (a stand mixer works best for this) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled milk mixture and beat for 5-7 minutes, until frosting is light, fluffy, and completely uniform throughout.  Beat in food coloring, if desired.

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