Holidays are fantastic. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and I love getting into the holiday spirit with traditional and jazzy tunes, festive towels (one of my only Christmas decorations to date), adorable fuzzy snowman socks, and of course, the quintessential Christmas cookie! While I’d check most of these items off the list already, I had yet to make a festive-looking cookie. (Fruitcake cookies don’t count, as they don’t “look” like Christmas).
To get myself in gear, I chose a simple, but tasty sugar cookie recipe and scanned hundreds of online photos to decide how to bedeck my lovelies in holiday cheer. Using items in the pantry, I came up with these two variations that made it to work with Husband on Tuesday.
These cookies I brushed lightly with a mixture of flour and water and sprinkled with homemade colored sugar (stir together colorant and granulated sugar) before baking.
Variation two (my personal fave) was baked, cooled, and the top was brushed with a mixture of 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips stirred together with a tablespoon of vegetable oil for sheen. I then gave the cookies a dandy sparkling of crushed mint candies to “up” the festive quotient. I really liked the chocolate brushing technique rather than dipping, as the cookies don’t stick to the parchment and are much easier to deal with.
Basic Spritz Cookies
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
4 yolks ( May also use 2 eggs. I just happen to eat lots of whites and have a freezer full of yolks)
3 c. flour
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
1/2 t. salt
Beat butter until it lightens a bit. Add sugar and beat an additional minute on medium-high speed. Add remaining ingredients and beat to combine.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with the dough. Pipe 3″ cookies onto a well-greased or parchment-lined baking sheet*. Refrigerate cookies and preheat oven to 400F. When oven is fully heated, bake for 7-10 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.** Cool and store in airtight containers.
*For variation one: Combine 1/4 c. sugar with food colorant as desired. Stir to combine evenly. In another small bowl, combine 1t. flour with 3T. water. Brush one end of cookies with flour mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Bake as directed
** Variation two: Melt 1/2 c. chocolate chips of choice and 1T. vegetable oil in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between, until melted. Brush the tops of one end of each cookie with chocolate and sprinkle on a bit a crushed mint candies. Allow chocolate to cool and harden before packaging.