Holiday Baking

 

chandelier and fountain_small

Welcome to Holiday Baking

If you are like me then you love to do some baking, especially around the holidays.  This is when I love to get out my grandmother’s old rolling pin and the cookie cutters and a various assortment of sprinkles and glittery dragees, and just go to town with creativity.

Christmas Deck in the nook_small fountain outside my nook_small

This is my nook, right beside my kitchen and where I do most everything from cooking and baking, to crafts.

I like to make it look very festive no matter what holiday or occasion arises.

This little area in my home is where I love to be.  I’ve got the pretty fountain outside my window that makes me happy, especially when I see a bird or two stop by to take a drink or a little bath.

Baking cookies in the nook_small

But this time I’m getting ready to bake sugar cookies with royal icing for Christmas gifts.

Christmas in my cookie nook_small

I wanted to make some Cinderella Princess cookies to send to my nieces in Ireland.

cookie making dragees_small

I got out my cookie cutters, some dragees and sprinkles, and I made the area very pretty in which to work.

beautiful setting_small

Im a little tea cup_small

Tea with cookies and crown_small

Tea and cookies 1_small

Tea and Cookies

Princess cookies for xmas_small

 

cookie anyone_small

Christmas Cookies of Slippers, Snow Flakes and Tiaras

Julie baking_small

 

We just used a basic sugar cookie recipe.  We made several batches of the cookie dough, forming the dough into a flat round lump, wrapped them in saran wrap, and then placed in the freezer until we were ready to use it.

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dough ready for rolling out_small

I like using one of those clean sheet plastic mats to lay on top of the table to roll the dough out on.

This is the rolling pin that belonged to my great-grandmother, who then passed it to my grandmother, and then to me.

rolling out the dough_small rolled dough_small

We find that it helps to place some parchment paper over the dough while you roll it out.  Then just peel back the paper and start cutting away with the cutters.

You do need to sprinkle some flour on the mat and the lump of dough to ensure that the paper doesn’t stick to it.

cookie cutters_small

Princess Cookie Cutters

(Slipper, Palace, Various Tiaras, and Snow Flakes)

I wanted to give pretty homemade princess cookies as gifts this year for all the princess’s in my life.

space the cookies_small cookies cooling_small

I like to place the cookies on parchment paper for baking.  Once out of the oven place on a wire rack to cool.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

so easy sugar cookie ingredients_small

The Sugar Cookie Ingredients

(We used Martha Stewart’s)

  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour, plus more for rolling.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter or Margarine, room temperature.
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg (we found this to be very important, otherwise the dough is too dry)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

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mixing the dry ingredients_small

  1. In a large bowl whisk in your flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. creaming butter and sugar_small adding the egg into the mixture_small
  3. With an electric mixer you want to cream your butter/margarine and your sugar until it is light and fluffy.  Then add your egg and vanilla, mix together with the butter and sugar. 
  4. adding the vanilla_small adding the dry mix to the wet batter_small
  5. Now gradually add your dry mixture a little bit at a time, to your butter, sugar, egg and vanilla, mixing thoroughly as you go. 
  6. sugar cookie dough mixture_small
  7. Once all the mixture is combined then form into a big ball and wrap in saran wrap, then place into the freezer for at least 20 minutes. 
  8. mix together before refrigeration_small wrapping the dough for the freezer_small
  9. You can freeze the mixture and just thaw it out for another time if you like.
  1.  You want to pre-heat your oven to 325F.  Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Follow my directions above on rolling out your cookies.  Because all ovens are different we watched the cookies to determine how long cooking time would be in our oven.  It turned out to be about 12 minutes.

TIPS:  Martha recommends that you dip your cookie cutters into flour before using.  We found this very helpful.

Cinderella Cookies Icing and Dragees_small

When the cookies have cooled, now comes the fun part.

colorful frosting for the cookies_small Cinderella cookie making_small

Cinderella Cookies

Some Very Pretty Dragees

dragees_small

I did order most of these dragees from a business called,

Fancy Flours

I’ve ordered from them before and I really do like their products.

Colorful Frostings and Dragees

Cookies drying_small cookies for the girls_small

Once you have iced the cookies, place whatever sprinkles or dragees you want to use on top of the icing.

Have fun and be creative.  Let the artist in you come out and play.

Royal Icing

Making the Royal Icing_small

Royal Icing Ingredients

(also a Martha Stewart recipe)

  • 1 pound of Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons of Meringue Powder (or you can use 2 large egg whites)
  • 1/2 Cup Water

Royal Icing_small

In your electric mixer you want to combine your confectioner’s sugar and meringue powder on a low speed.  While that is mixing, pour in your water and make sure the consistency is stringy, or a ribbon like trail when you lift your beaters out of the batter after a few minutes.

If you want a thicker consistency then add more sugar.  If you want a thinner consistency then add more water.  We found this consistency to be Juuuuuuuust Right. 

When the icing was finished I divided it into 3 bowls.  I kept one bowl the white color and added some red and blue food coloring to make pink and a light blue to the other bowls.

frosting and dragees_small

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Some of cookies looked like glass, and some a stained glass quality.

My nieces are under strict orders that when the package arrives they are to eat the cookies while wearing their tiaras.

Cinderellas tiara_small

packing cookies for shipping_small

How else would you eat them?

Kates tiara and ornament_small

 

dolls and tiaras_small

Cookies, Tiaras and Dolls

Cinderella cookie tree 2_small

I put some of mine on this tree that I rigged up.

Cinderella Cookie Tree_small

Cookies Aren’t Just for Eating

Cinderella Snow_small

 Cinderella table and tree_small Cindy cookies_small

Happy Holiday Baking!

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edible cookies in tins for Christmas_small these will go fast_small

Happy Holiday Gift Giving!

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CCFB_small

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus finally bloomed_small

Welcoming into our Home

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