By guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.
The weather is getting colder. The fall season is long over and Thanksgiving has come and gone. Winter time means we are given little reprieve from classes and homework and tests and everything else professors throw our way. Winter break is almost here!
Winter break also means time with family, amazing food, and some seasonal winter movies. There is something irresistible about the aroma of warm spices and freshly baked goodies. Mixing up batches of dough and baking trays of cookies while listening to holiday music is a great activity you can do during your time off.
Holiday-shaped sugar cookies with frosting are classic, yet are also an easy fall back. In addition, there are so many more choices for a new baking adventure!
Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- 3/4 cup butter flavored shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 drops any color food coloring
- In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
- Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove cookies from baking sheets to cool on wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.
- In a small bowl, beat the butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Mix in the milk one tablespoon at a time until a good spreading consistency is reached. Stir in food coloring to desired shade. Decorate cooled cookies, and set on waxed paper to harden.
Peppermint Candy Cane Twists
- 1 package (18-ounce) refrigerated sugar cookie dough, room temperature (recommended:
- Pillsbury), or home-made sugar cookie dough
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (recommended: McCormick)
- 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
Cut the roll of cookie dough in half. Put the halves in separate large mixing bowls. In 1 bowl, thoroughly mix 1/4 cup of the flour and the peppermint extract into cookie dough. In the second bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour and enough food coloring to make a red dough. Mix well with gloved hands until the color is well blended.
Divide the white and red dough into 24 pieces each, (for a total of 48 pieces). Roll each piece into a rope 8 inches long and about 1/4-inch in diameter.
To shape candy canes, arrange 1 rope of each color side by side on parchment lined cookie sheets. Gently twist together and shape into a candy cane. Repeat with the remaining pieces, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are very lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest, about 5 minutes, before transferring the cookies to racks. Gently remove them from the cookie sheets with a long metal spatula and cool on cooling racks.
What are you looking forward to baking this holiday season?