christmas cookies

Happy snow day to those of us in Maryland & elsewhere that got a few inches this morning!  Normally I LIVE for snow days, but today was bittersweet because our CBS cookie exchange was cancelled. And on the rare occasion I was prepared ahead of time, my cookies were all dressed up, ready, and had nowhere to go.  But at least I can share them with you all…. 🙂

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Starlight Mint Sugar CookiesMy mom found the idea for these cookies from Target’s website, and sent the recipe to me.  I adapted it and have included instructions  below (the original recipe & steps can be found here.)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (**I substituted vanilla extract for the peppermint.  Maybe I’m weird, but something about ‘sugar cookie” + “mint flavored” just didn’t mix in my opinion)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Few drops red food coloring (**haha –yeah, right!  More like most of the bottle, Target! Be patient and know that it will take MANY drops to get you to the desired “Christmas red” shade!)

 

Here’s what you do:

1. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until blended. Beat in egg, milk and extract. Add flour and baking powder; beat on low until just combined.

2. Remove half of dough; press into disc shape and wrap with plastic wrap. (**Don’t try to cut corners like I did and take out what ‘looks like half’ of the dough and color the remainder of the dough still in the mixing bowl.  I would recommend removing all dough together, then dividing in half to get an accurate measurement.  I ended up having more red dough than plain dough and it made the other steps more challenging!)   To remaining dough, add a few drops food coloring. Mix well. Flatten into disc and wrap. Refrigerate both at least 30 minutes.

3. Place colored dough between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap; roll out to a 12×8-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with plain dough. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap from both doughs. Invert plain dough onto red dough. Gently press and trim edges.(** Place back in refrigerator for several minutes longer, which will make it easier to roll the dough up in a spiral next.)IMG_5737  IMG_5743      Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Starting with short side, roll up dough into spiral. Wrap tightly; freeze about 30 minutes or until very firm.

4. Heat oven to 375°F. Unwrap dough; cut into 1/4-inch slices. On a greased cookie sheet, place slices 1 inch apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

I then wrapped them in clear cellophane and tied off both ends with ribbon, to get the true peppermint effect. 😉

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They were a labor of love, but I think came out very cute…and hey, as long as you are happy with the results, any arduous task can be rewarding, right?  I think these would make cute neighbor/friend/teacher gifts during the holidays…which I will probably be doing now with all my unused cookies!

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