*Christmas Sugar Cookies*--yeah, they're a lot of work but they're worth it!
This year I squeezed in a day off from work so I could make some. I made the dough the night before and after dropping off B$ at daycare I headed home to roll out the dough. I have come to realize it's best to only select a handful of shapes to make (change it up every year so you don't get bored). This year I went with bear, mitten, reindeer, snowflake, Christmas tree and candy cane shapes. Start cutting the dough with the biggest shapes and then use the smaller shapes to fill in. I follow Martha's techniques and tip to cut out the shapes directly on a silpat baking mat so I don't have to worry about transferring the shapes to the cookie sheet (more tips here).
By lunchtime my cookies were baked and I had eaten a ton of raw cookie dough. I had fallen into a slump. I realized there is one thing I hate to do when it comes to the sugar cookie process: make and color the royal icing. For some reason my sister loves this part. I called her hoping to entice her to come over during her lunch break to whip up my icing, but it was a pipe dream and did not materialize to anything beyond words of encouragement. I thought about going out to lunch, but then I set myself straight and got to making the icing (it's really not that bad). My favorite part is to decorate the cookies--I really love this part. Having fewer shapes but larger quantities of those shapes allows you to knock them out rquicker and also gives you the chance to experiment with them.
Once you finish icing the base and applying the sprinkles to your cookies it's time to go back and add the fun details (e.g on the polar bears I added scarves, ears and tails). When complete the cookies are the perfect holiday treat to share with others. For easy packaging of your cookies you can follow the link here.
My friend gave me some of her mom's vintage cookie cutters, expect to see more of there bears next year.
Make sure to put your sugar cookies on top of the other cookies in your cookie tin--they will impress and will stay nice.