Christmas Cutout Cookies

I’m not baking today!! Well, let me retract that statement. I’m not baking cookies today. Well, as far as I can tell right now, no cookies.

I am toying with homemade puff pastry for a delectable Beef Wellington experiment tonight.

I wasn’t going to post a blog for these because I was comparing them to prettier and fancier cookies out there, after taking a quick online cookie decorating course from Wilton™️. But you see, that old adage about “comparison being the greatest theft of joy” is absolute truth. These cookies are a little rustic, and some of them look like a 3 year old frosted them, but I don’t care. One of the best parts of my writing and sharing is that it’s not fluffed up. I wasn’t about to make another 7 dozen cookies just to make them “pretty.” They are simple, classic and uncomplicated. That works for me!!

This is a heavy recipe, so be prepared to sit awhile and decorate. I suggest inviting a friend or two over to help. It makes between 4 and 7 dozen, so cut it in half if you’re not sharing.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m working on a Beef Wellington, so I’ll keep the chatter to a minimum and get right to the recipe.

What You Need:

3 c sugar

2 c Crisco™️ shortening

2 eggs

2 c whole buttermilk

8 c flour, plus more for dusting

4 tsp baking powder

4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups icing (recipe below)

Decorating sugars, sprinkles and candies.

What You Do:

In bowl of stand mixer, cream together the sugar, shortening, eggs and buttermilk.

In a separate large bowl sift and whisk the dry ingredients.

Gradually add dry mixture to bowl of butter while mixing on medium speed.

Scrape sides of the bowl and continue mixing until it forms a ball.

Turn dough out on a floured surface.

Split into two or four dough balls, form and wrap in plastic.

Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour or longer.

Heat oven to 350.

Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough from refrigerator. I do this one ball at a time to avoid the dough getting too soft to roll and cut.

Flour the surface you’ll be rolling on.

Flour the rolling pin.

Have a bowl of flour to dip cookie cutters in.

Roll the dough into about a 1/4 inch sheet.

Dip cookie cutters and start cutting.

Bake 8-10 minutes. Watch the cookies to determine a good time, as ovens and pans will cause variances sometimes. I use the 12 x 20 inch baking sheets.

Remove from oven and cool a few minutes on the sheet.

Transfer to racks to finish cooling, and then put them in large tubs to go to the decorating table.

For the icing:

1 bag powdered sugar

1.5 sticks of real butter

1.5 c Crisco™️ shortening

2 tsp vanilla extract

Coloring to suit your style

Make the icing by simply mixing all ingredients until well combined. If you need it thinner, or some for decorating, take some out, put it in a bowl and whip it with teaspoons of water added one at a time until it reaches the consistency you need.

I like the ease of piping the icing, and I actually do like the way these look. They totally represent my food style. It’s never too pretentious, and there is no stress involved. You can use most any icing if this one isn’t your thing.

Have FUN!! Do not worry about yours being the most gorgeous cookie!! Please!! Sometimes it’s the simple and imperfect things in life can bring endless joy. Will I up my cookie decorating game next season?? Maybe. There’s always always always room for improvement.

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