Christmas is a time of baking. Visit http://www.cookingbright.com/ for our article on one of my favorite Christmas treats to bake, the “buche de Noel” (or yule log cake). If you decide to bake this chocolate confection or do something more simple- share the experience and involve others in the kitchen. By doing so you will create warm memories that last a lifetime.
For many families a gingerbread house is a fun annual tradition, however, building them can also be quite stressful and expensive. Save money on ingredients by using your leftover Halloween candy (if you have any), cereals for texture, and lots of frosting. Graham crackers and pretzels can also be used instead of pure gingerbread. Also consider other options- gingerbread classes are available at some restaurants, cooking schools, and resorts. The Gaylord Palms even offeres a weekend getaway with a gingerbread workshop. If you do decide to build your own consider using cardboard for reinforcment if you need it.
Sugar cookies are one of the least expensive and simplest options for baking with beauty for holidays. My dear friend Barbie does not cook much but her sugar cookies are amazing. She has graciously shared her recipe for all to enjoy the soft buttery goodness of an old- fashioned sugar cookie. These are terrific to roll, cut and decorate with friends of all ages.
Barbie’s Sugar Cookies
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla. In separate bowl mix together remaining ingredients then blend into creamed mixture. Roll out dough then use a cookie cutter to shape. If dough becomes too soft refrigerate. Bake until slightly golden, about 7-10 minutes depending on size of cookie.
For icing add a little milk to 2 cups powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. You can also use store bought frostings and sprinkles.
*Special thanks to Adam Cassidy for the beautiful sugar cookie photo from the FSS Zoo event last weekend and to the kitchen crew in my Friday morning cooking class that helped make the cookies.