Thursday, December 15, 2011

Decorating the Christmas Cookies

Decorating is always fun, it's also always messy.

I don't do a fancy, piped decorated cookie. I find these cookies are so good, they only need a light glazing of icing and a little colored sugar and sprinkles for decoration. Thick icing and piped in decorations would totally overwhelm these soft pillows of happiness.

If you're looking for a tutorial for perfectly decorated Christmas cookies, you won't find it here. What you will find is a fun tradition to start with your kids. Something to do with them and to make memories.

I started with about 2 Tablespoons of milk, but ended up with 5. Also about a tablespoon of margarine.

Then I added 3-4 cups of powdered sugar. I didn't use all of the icing. It's always so hard to judge. Sometimes I end up making more icing, other times I end up with no where near enough.

Mix with a knife, the margarine will blend right on in. If it's too thick add a teaspoon of milk or water, too runny, sprinkle in some powdered sugar. You want it just a little thick, so that it dries easily. If it's really runny, you can only get a very light glaze on your cookie and it soaks in some.

I had the two kids with jellyroll pans in their work station and the waxed paper in front of them. I frosted them and sent them down. They sprinkled within their pans and this kept the errant sprinkles from getting all over the table.

Some did anyway, but not too bad.
These aren't dry yet.

The girl is showing off her 8 that she made with scraps. See the heavily decorated ones and the lighter ones?


It made a good amount of cookies. These are the ones that hadn't gotten eaten yet. We ate quite a few during the baking process.

Once they are completely dry, they get a shell to them. It also protects the cookie from drying out. You can stack them with sheets of waxed paper between the layers. This keeps them from sticking and also from breaking.
There are 4 layers here. This should last the next 10 days....


Good thing I made all the other cookies.
Because of all the pretty decorated cookies, I am also sharing some finished decorated tree photos.
There's the angel with her fiber optic wings and orb. Please ignore our cement board covered wall as it is waiting for the bricks in the garage to grace it.

Couldn't find a nice big tree skirt under $50, so we went with this pretty, white, fluffy blanket. The fireman always had a sheet under his growing up and since we're using traditional ornaments, it fits.

We will be shopping tree skirts after Christmas.

We also need some more presents under this tree!

We decided to forego the popcorn and cranberries as we were worried the cat and dog would be after them. The marshmallow snowman ornament on the left is on a graham cracker as a S'more ornament that the fireman got me the first year we dated. The pointsettia fairy on the right is the girl's for her third Christmas.

The carriage is a White House ornament. I had a co-worker once that bought us all annual White House ornaments each year. I have three and they are some of my favorites. I love the rustic one on the left. There are small bells in each hole. We also scattered peppermint candy canes around the tree. I love these with the green stripe.

The small ornament on the left is from the girl's 2nd Christmas. There is a little cat rocking a little cradle. Adorable. Another White House ornament is peaking out at top center/right. See my crazy candle collection on the piano?

I just love this sparkly tree ornament. It's the fireman's, I'm not sure of it's history. This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I love the history and tradition in each piece.

What are your favorite ornaments at home?

Recipe Base:
4 to 5 teaspoons of milk to 1 cup of powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon of margarine, just to make it richer.
You'll probably need to at least double this.

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