Monday, December 19, 2011

Drop Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles

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For a super-easy way to make Drop Sugar Cookies look festive and colorful, simply dip the scooped dough in sprinkles before you bake them. And, no, it's not cheating for them to look so cute without the effort of frosting them. It's efficient, and smarty-pants clever ;)

Put the sprinkles in a small bowl and dip your scooped sugar cookie dough. I've found that if you use a small bowl, you can use the sides of the bowl to get more sprinkle coverage.

Bake the cookies as directed for the Drop Sugar Cookies. Remember to take them out when they still look underdone.

Mmmm...For these cookies I used my smallest cookie scoop. I ruined my regular scoop by using it to scoop plaster of paris into dixie cups, and then not rinsing it off right away. Oops. And darnit.

This look ready for Santa! Too bad we ate them. I'll have to make Santa some new cookies.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Drop Sugar Cookies

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I think sugar cookies are one of the best cookies on the face of the planet. They are simple, sweet, and completely addictive. And while rolled sugar cookies are great, sometimes I want sugar cookies without all the fuss. These drop sugar cookies are so easy, and if you do any baking at all, you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen.

The ground nutmeg is totally optional. My mom put nutmeg in the sugar cookies she made when I was a kid, so for me sugar cookies aren't quite right without it. You can leave it out if you want--they will still be amazing.

As always, these cookies are formulated for my high altitude (5000+ feet), but will also work at lower altitudes.

Drop Sugar Cookies
printable recipe

1 cup butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Heat your oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each. Add the salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and flour; mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl once. Set aside for 15 minutes.

3. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and still look underdone (they will set up as the cool). If you let them brown they won't be as soft after they cool.

Makes 36 cookies.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Jell-O Spritz Cookies

I know it sounds weird: cookies with Jell-O? You bet, and they are so good, I promise it'll be hard when it's time to stop putting them in your mouth. When I was growing up these were a staple in my house. My mom's recipe called them Pastel Cookies (I'm sure because they cook up pastel in color, the color determined by the flavor of Jell-O you use.), but we all called them Push Cookies; I can only guess because you use a cookie press. When my sister and I were old enough to mess around in the kitchen we had making these cookies down to a science. It's all about how long you cook them--just until they are no longer shiny, and whatever you do, don't let them get brown because then they get hard. Not crispy or crunchy. Hard. Blech.

For these cookies I used lime Jell-O and the cookie press' Christmas tree disk. Another great Christmas design is to use red Jell-O and the flower disk to make poinsettias. Since I know you're wondering, the Jell-O does add flavor the cookie, but in a good, delicious way. If you want sprinkles be sure to put them on before baking.

Don't grease your cookie sheet or use parchment paper or a silpat. The dough needs a naked, ungreased pan in order to come off the cookie press. There is enough butter in the dough that they don't stick to the pan. Also, I've adjusted this recipe for my high altitude.

Christmas Jell-O Spritz Cookies
printable recipe

1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 3-oz box lime Jell-O (NOT sugar free)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Heat your oven to 400. Set aside 2 ungreased baking sheets.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and Jell-O. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix well; scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the baking powder and flour, and mix well. Let the dough sit for 15 minutes before loading it into the cookie press.

3. Load the dough into your cookie press, and following it's manufacturers directions, press the dough onto your baking sheets. Add sprinkles if you want them.

4. Bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes (mine took 7 minutes), just until they are no longer shiny, and not starting to brown. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then remove them to paper towels. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes about 100 cookies.

1 Weight Watcher's Points+ point per cookie, up to 5 cookies.

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