My mom only brought out a small amount of dough at a time, because you have to cut them out while they are cold or they go all melty on you.
My sister and I stood around the workspace with aprons on, armed with floured cookie cutters. Flour was everywhere and when Mom said, "Go!" we furiously cut out cookies and got them on cookie trays before the dough got warm.
Then, Mom would put the scraps that were too small to cut back into the bowl, in the fridge, and scoop out another ball. She would then get it the perfect thickness, about a quarter of an inch, nicely floured and have us "Go" again.
Then, once they were all cut and baked and layed out to cool, we would all clean up the mess and get ready for the decorating.
Mom would mix up the icing, the powdered sugar kind. She and dad would ice the cookies and pass them down to my sister and I. We would shake on sprinkles and colored sugar. My mom and dad would tell me dozens of times not to overload the cookies with sprinkles. I would lighten it up for a while and then sprinkle them heavily again.
Cause, you know they're much prettier with tons of sugar. Then eventually, my dad would let me know I had too much sugar on them by tipping over my cookie and the rain of sugar that didn't stick would fall down on the parchment papered table. "Seriously?" I would get. Thus chastized, I would descreetly sprinkle them again.
Now, it's my daughter that over-sprinkles the cookies and the fireman that man's the ovens and the youngest boy that's punching out the angel cookie shape that is so hard to make come out right. The other boys are doing most of the snacking. Seriously.
This dough has to be refridgered the day before. It goes something like this.
The next day when you are ready to start baking. You will be using a well floured surface and whatever cookie cutters you want to use. You should have a bowl of flour on the counter to dip the cookie cutters in before cutting. This keeps them floured between cuts. Have a few cookie sheets available, already greased and ready to go. Have your oven preheated at 400. Also have a few hard pancake turners available to scrape up dough that becomes melty or to pick up cookies that stick a bit.
These bake very quickly, my recipe card says 6 minutes, but we were taking them out at about 4 minutes. Just keep checking on them. They do spread some, so keep them from about an inch apart. Do not let them get browned. Once they are starting to lightly brown at the edge, they are done!
They bake up like pillows, soft and buttery and sweet. So extremely tender and soft that it's hard not to pop a dozen in your mouth.
They may be a bit of work, but when you taste them you will not regret it.
We laid magazines under the waxed paper so the heat didn't hurt the table. We didn't have enough cooling racks and this worked great. Besides, you'll need the paper for the decorating process.
We are decorating Tuesday night because the boys had to go back to their mom's Sunday evening and we didn't have time. So, we sealed them up good so they wouldn't dry out.
I will update with the decorating portion tomorrow! Too big of a deal to only get one post!
Is anyone else baking Christmas Cookies?
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter (cream these til it forms a ball)
4 eggs, add one at a time
2 teaspoons vanilla, added to butter mixture
1 cup sweet heavy cream (the real thing) with 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in small bowl and
add 2 teaspoon baking soda to cream, stir well
Add 4 teaspoons baking powder to 5 cups of flour
Work the flour mixture slowly to the wet mixture until combined. Cover and let refridgerate overnight.
Roll out on well floured surface. Work in small batches to keep dough soft. Bake cookies for 4-6 minutes at 400 degrees.