Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Cookie Tradition

Ava loves playing with flour.
Add sprinkles to a cookie before baking.

Holiday baking is a fun tradition for many families. We made these cut-out cookies on Christmas Eve, using a recipe that Aaron's parents have made when their kids were growing up. Even though they have been a long-standing tradition, it's been a few years since my mother-in-law has baked them. They have been missed for sure! Ava, at this age, is very interested in helping out in the kitchen so we took the time on this quiet Christmas Eve afternoon to bake. Ava loves to help in the kitchen so she enjoyed it! She helped for the entire process.

The cookie dough is made out of cream cheese and butter so they make very moist and thick cookies, than the traditional crisp cookies. I don't usually like sugar cookies, but this recipe is so good. And my mother-in-law says that dough is easier to work with than other recipes because it's not too fussy and easy to work with compared to others. We decorated the cookies with sprinkles and buttercream frosting.
You can use any shape for different holiday occasions.

Easy Shape Christmas Cookies 
Serves 2 dozen

3oz soft cream cheese (12oz*)
1/2 cup soft butter (2 cups)
1/2 cup brown sugar (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt (2 tsp)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (4 tsp)

Stir by hand until well blended

Add 1 2/3 cup (or 6 2/3 cup) flour until dough forms into a ball. Knead 1-2 minutes, adding flour as needed until not sticky. Roll onto a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick, cut with cookie cutters.

Bake on a 350 degree oven until edges are brown (about 15 minutes). Cool on a wire rack.

Refrigerated dough may keep for up to 2 weeks.
Helping Grandma collect the dough to roll it out again.

  • My mother-in-law always makes a quadruple batch of these cookies for her family because there are large gatherings. I noted the quadruple amounts on the ingredients list for your convenience.You can use any shape to make these cookies for other occasions. 
  • We made a butter cream frosting and added green food coloring to decorate our Christmas cookies. 
  • Some people like them without frosting so Michele directed me to leave some plain. That's a good idea if you make them. Ava didn't care for the frosting either.

Tasting the freshly baked cookie.

The cookies don't expand much so you can pack it on the baking sheet. They just puff up.

Frosted with sprinkles.
Place on a wire rack to cool.

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