Santa would be pleased...
For me, the months of November and December mark a joyous, holiday-filled time of year. It also signals the start of my favorite season: cookie baking season. What holiday party would be complete without a platter overflowing with assorted cookies? It's very fitting, then, that December's Flavor-of-the-Month theme is Cookies. Selecting the handful of recipes I will make each year is no easy task, because there are always recipes I "have" to make, as well as those I feel bad for eliminating from the rotation. See my Five below, then head on over to Bridget's Bake at 350 blog to check out cookie recipe round-up! I'm almost scared to look at what everyone else made, because that will make next year's list even harder to whittle down!
Recipe: Cinnamon Spice Cookies from Karenscookies.net
Yield: 3 dozen bears, rolled ¼" thick
All cookies were decorated and glazed using the Meringue Powder Buttercream recipe, also found at Karenscookies.net
This cookie was crisp and tasty, but spread a bit more than expected. It's fine for this shape as the fattie bears are actually kinda cute, all snuggled up in their scarves.
Recipe: Eggnog Cookies at The Baking Pan
Yield: 2½ dozen , rolled ¼" thick & cut with 2½" cutters
These spread out. A lot. I'm glad I chose to make snowmen out of this recipe, because any shape other than round would've been hopelessly amoeba-like after baking. On the bright side, they tasted great and were the first to disappear from the tray.
Recipe: Cook's Illustrated Thick and Chewy Gingerbread (recipe on Foldedspace.org)
Yield: 2½ dozen 3" boys, rolled ¼" thick
This recipe has been my go-to gingerbread for three years running now. It's the first recipe I ever tried for gingerbread, and it's wonderful. I recently conducted a side-by-side taste testing of this and three other recipes, and this one won by a landslide! The cookies you see on the right were made much earlier in the month, and I ran into some problems the batch consistency being too sticky (even after an overnight chill), so I added more flour. Mistake. While still edible, they were definitely more chewy--in a pull-your-teeth-out-taffy-sort-of-way--than normal. C'est la vie! Luckily, the ones I made for the taste test came out perfect :)
Peppermint Candy Canes
Recipe: White Chocolate Sugar Cookies by Karenscookies.net
Yield: 4 dozen candy canes, rolled 3/16" thick (used roller guides)
I thought it would be fitting to make candy cane cookies that were minty, so I took the White Chocolate Sugar Cookie recipe and added 1 teaspoon peppermint extract to the recipe. Fantastic! Rolled a bit thinner than the other cookies, these cookies baked up a bit crisper--a perfect compliment to the mintyness.
Recipe: White Velvet Cut Outs
Yield: 3 dozen snowflakes, rolled ¼" thick
This is the same basic recipe I use for my cut-out cookies throughout the year, only on a smaller scale. I've tried this cookie with all-vanilla, almond, Fiori di Silicia, but this time I opted for Princess Cake & Cookie Emulsion. Yum!
My original intention was to have these colored the palest of blues...but as you can see I got a much more vibrant shade! ONE DROP of Americolor Sky Blue food color gel gave me that color...that's some potent stuff.