It’s less than a month to Christmas. And it’s already week 11 of Twelve Weeks of Christmas Treats. This is the final stretch, people. The happiest time of the year. Right before I plunge into a deep, dark depression come January 1st when the realization that the holidays are over starts to sink in. When the parties are over, the decorations ought to come down (although I stubbornly keep them up until mid-January), and the blind, unadultered, guilt-free
gorging feasting comes to an end. No more jolly music to play (unless you want to look like a psycho). Nothing to look forward to except months and months of cold, rain and grey skies. And the terrifying morning ritual of putting on a pair of pants and not being able to get the zipper all the way up because of those cursed holiday pounds.
God, am I a downer today!
Here’s some Christmas music to cleanse the mental palate (love this song, love Nat King Cole!):
And here’s Christina belting out the same tune:
Now that we’re in a proper holiday state of mind, I’m going simple for this week’s Christmas Treats with good ol’ sugar cookies.
But where, you ask, are the treats stuffed full of decadent and crazy ingredients? Dazzle us, woman! Impress us!
As much as I love thinking up all kinds of crazy creations, I wanted to go back to basics. I find that the simplest things are always the hardest to make. You have to rely on quality ingredients and perfect execution. You can’t hide a mediocre recipe behind a massive list of delicious add-ons.
I’ve never been a fan of sugar cookies. If it’s on a dessert table, I’ll always pass it over in favour of more glamourous and indulgent fare. Perhaps my aversion to this cookie is due to a terrible experience I had making it many years ago. Ever since, I’ve never had the desire to bake them.
My good friend, Mrs. Smith, volunteered to make 150 sugar cookies for her company’s annual children’s Christmas party. She asked me if I wanted to help and my obvious answer was, of course! Bake on someone else’s dime? Sure thing!
I promptly put out a plea for sugar cookie recommendations since I didn’t have a go-to recipe. My friend and colleague, the lovely lady behind the blog Healthy Like This, recommended that I try Canadian Living’s recipe. I’m glad I did – it’s a fantastic cookie. But before we get to the taste review, let me just say I spent two evenings making 8 batches of dough to ensure there was enough for 150 cookies. Then Mrs. Smith and our good friend, the Running Girl, spent four hours rolling, cutting and baking said cookies.
It was exhausting but so much fun.
Sugar cookies (recipe from the Canadian Living Cookbook for Classic Baking)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar (I used less than 1 full cup – probably 2 tablespoons less)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
Beat butter until fluffy and add the sugar in 3 additions. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in 3 additions. Make sure all the flour is incorporated – you don’t want to see any streaks or bits of flour.
Dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it together into a ball with your hands. Cut the dough in half, shape each half into a disc and wrap them. Chill for at least an hour or up to a full day.
Before you’re ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and leave on the counter to soften a bit. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of wax paper. Cut out the cookies and re-roll the scraps. If your scraps get too warm, place them back into the fridge to firm up a bit.
Place the cut cookies onto your baking sheets, leaving at least an inch and a half between the cookies. Bake for 10-14 minutes until light golden brown on the bottoms and edges.
Cook for about 1 minute on the baking sheet and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. You can store the cookies between waxed paper in airtight containers, at room temp for 5 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.
These are really really good cookies. Not too sweet, not too buttery, nice ‘n crisp. I made a test batch of cookies the week before bake-a-palooza and the Husband and I couldn’t stop eating them. Y’all know that I’ll eat just about anything but it’s a true compliment if the Husband likes something sweet that I’ve made.
Twelve Weeks of Christmas Treats is the tantalizing brain child of Brenda from Meal Planning Magic. Visit her blog for goodies from the past 11 weeks or if you want to join along in the fun.
And check out everyone else’s delectable Christmas treats by clicking on the linky button below.
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