Monday, December 3, 2012

Brown Sugar Cookies

I haven't posted in a while now, but don't fret it is for good reason aka my job of handling my mother's cafeteria operations, and just a couple of days ago I just had my largest cupcake orders yet of 200 red velvet ones. Sorry to say to you lot that I won't be sharing my Red Velvet cupcake recipe today - I will soon though, don't worry! Today however, since it is the beginning of December, I thought I should share something appropriate for the holidays to come.

When I was younger, holidays are usually the time when bakeshops and candy stalls are filled with cut-out sugar cookies with icing sugar fit for the holiday being celebrated. For a bit of nostalgia and the holiday spirit, I with a help of a secret friend, baked some of these sugar cookies I haven't baked in so long. These cookies only require three ingredients. Well four, or maybe five with the icing but the cookie itself, three simple everyday ingredients. These cookies are probably the easiest thing you'll ever bake if you need something festive in a jiffy. Ready?


Brown Sugar Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
2 cups butter, softened
5 cups all-purpose flour

As I've said, this is a simple as it gets, just combine all ingredients in a large bowl and knead with your hands until everything comes together and forms into a smooth, satin-y ball. Ideally, you'll want to chill this overnight so that the dough will be more workable when you cut it into shapes. If you want it quick, chill it in the fridge for 1-2 hours and get to work, once the dough starts "melting" wrap it back in saran wrap and chill for another hour or so.

When you're ready to work with your dough, flour your work space and cut the dough into workable pieces, and roll each piece out smooth, until 1/4 inch thick. If you're worried about your rolling pin sticking to the dough, place a parchment paper on top of the dough before rolling it flat.


Now the fun part: cookie cutting! I remember invading my Mom's kitchen whenever she started cutting out the dough in different shapes and sizes.


Try to get the dough you're rolling as big as your work space can allow, so you won't have to keep rolling out and risk melting your dough quicker. That way too, you can just keep on pressing down your cookie cutters in the dough and just remove the excess for rolling later.


Use a spatula to collect your cut-out dough and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake these at a preheated 300 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until set and lightly brown at the bottom.


Now these cookies are good to go but if you're feeling a little more festive, you can decorate your cookies with icing. You can look at different icing recipes for cookies like these that will require whipping egg whites and icing sugar but I like to cheat with these things and went another way.


I simply melted some white chocolate with a little milk in the microwave and added a couple of drops of food coloring, and voila! I chose green and red to welcome the holidays but if you have lots of food coloring, by all means use them!

I broke ducky's head while taking him out of the baking sheet. I made it seem like a zombie ate him.
I broke his leg too while taking him  off the baking sheet, so I tried to mend it with chocolate.
After making a couple of Christmas trees, I had a lot of fun with the cookie people, so most of what I've made were cookie persons, like a family. And just decorated them with what little art skills I have.


These are fun if you have friends over and they're all craving for something sweet. They're easy and interactive which is why I loved making these when I was a kid. If you want it a little more formal or grown-up appropriate, serve these cookies in basic shapes and serve with a cup of melted dark chocolate. Amazing. You can also spice these up with a dash of cinnamon and squirt of lemon juice, anything really.

I hope this gives you an idea on what to serve or even give as gifts for the holidays. Eat them with hot chocolate, warm milk, a glass of spiced cider or even eggnog! They really are a simple but oh-so wonderful holiday treat.

As ever,
Isobel

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