Thursday, December 1, 2011

Twenty Five Treats for the Holidays - Day 1

Ready to have your socks knocked off?  Grab a tube of sugar cookie dough and...

  1. Cut it into slices, and bake as directed.  Decorate with sprinkles/sugars before baking or frosting as desired after baking.
  2. Slice, then roll slices into balls.  Roll balls in a cinnamon/sugar mixture - instant snickerdoodles.
  3. Add dough to a bowl with a 3 oz. package of Jello (you choose the flavor).  Stir to combine, and then a) roll into a log with waxed paper, refrigerate, slice and bake as in #1; or b) leave it soft, pack into the tube of a cookie gun, and "spritz" to your heart's content.  We've used that last recipe in my family for years - red pointsettias and bells, green Christmas trees.  Use your imagination.
  4. Instead of Jello, use about 1/2 cup of cocoa - do the log thing, or the spritz thing.
  5. Dough in bowl, add 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.  Instant spice cookies.  These are really good rolled out and cut with cookie cutters.
  6. How about "latte" cookies?  Add 1 tablespoon instant coffee to the dough, then add the insides of a vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract), or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Chill then roll and cut.  These are phenomenal, and seem so "gourmet".  A great icing for these is melted frosting from a can.  Just frost cookies while they are still hot from the oven.  Ok, now I'm getting hungry!
  7. Eggnog cookies - add 1-2 tablespoons real rum to the dough along with 1-2 teaspoons nutmeg.  Chill, roll, and cut.
  8. Feeling really creative?  Add food color - make tie-dye cookies, or stick with simple red and green.  One year, we had a funky shaped gingerbread man.  We cut a bunch of his clones out of green cookie dough and had a "space alien Christmas".  And to heck with anyone who didn't have a sense of humor about it!  The kids had a BLAST, and memories to last a lifetime.
And speaking of cutting...

You do not need to own every shape of cookie cutter ever made with any kind of Christmas shape.  Save yourself a ton of cash, and use round biscuit cutters that come in sets.  You can stack several sizes of circles up to make little trees, or decorate them to look like Christmas ornaments.  Use cinnamon dots and other sprinkles to make snowman or Santa faces.  They don't even have to be that fancy - I've yet to see anyone turn down homemade Christmas cookies because of how they are (or aren't) frosted.  Oh, and don't forget those, like my hubby, who don't like frosting on their cookies - leave a few plain.

Don't have a set of biscuit cutters?  Not to worry - use a glass.  Use glasses of different sizes - like a large mug, a drinking glass and a shot glass.  Depending on your measuring cups, you could even use those.

Tomorrow, a requested recipe - stay tuned!

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