Christmas Cookie Baking Recipes

By: Jill Seader

The first beautiful dusting of fluffy white snow always puts me in the mood for baking Christmas cookies. At this time of year I tend to spend longer hours in the kitchen, baking up massive batches of cookies and candies as holiday music and movies play in the background. I love and have always loved the tastes and smells that come from a kitchen filled with love at Christmas time. Here are two of my recipes for traditional Christmas cookie favorites.

Gingerbread Cookies
6 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup shortening, melted and cooled
1 cup molasses
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon). In a large bowl, mix the shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Add in the dry ingredient mixture slowly and mix well. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, make into pieces no bigger than 1 1/2 inch thick, wrap and refrigerate for 3 or more hours. Roll the dough (about 1/4 inch thick) out on a slightly floured surface and cut into shapes (smaller shapes work best with this dough). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Frost with powdered sugar icing (milk or cream and powdered sugar). Word of warning on this recipe, it makes a very large batch so I hope you have a lot of family and friends to share this with.

Sugar Cookies (roll-out)
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup soft butter
1 beaten egg
3 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add in egg, cream, and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder and add it to the liquid mixture. Chill for at least one hour. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface and cut into your favorite Christmas cookie shapes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. If desired, put red and green sprinkles on top of the cookies before putting them in the oven. If you would rather make it a family project, bake the cookies, allow to cool, and make a powdered sugar frosting (milk and powdered sugar). Divide up the frosting into different bowls and color it with food coloring. Sprinkles, chocolate chips, red hots, and mini M&Ms can help add fun to the frosting process.

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