Ok! I have been BAD at keeping up with the days of Christmas...shame on me:( Now that I know people actually look at this thing every day, I've been feeling the pressure to keep it updated!! (Thanks Jennifer and Sydney:) So right now I'm enjoying a little Bing Crosby to get myself in the spirit of things. Stay tuned!!
Feeling crafty? Here's a fun, easy little idea for decorations. You could do small ones for the tree, or larger ones like these pictured to hang from the ceiling, window frames, ceiling fans, whatever! I could picture using magazine strips for a glossy look, and there are lots of color combinations you could try: whites and grays for a more elegant look, reds and greens, blue and silver...have fun with it!
Makes 16 cookies
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unsulfured molasses
- Royal Icing
- Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
- Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
- Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
- Put icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (such as Ateco #7). Pipe designs on snowflakes; immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar. Let stand 5 minutes; tap off excess sugar. Let icing set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour. Store cookies between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days
between 8 and 12 dozen, depending on size
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and add the sugar. Cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until golden. Add the cream cheese and again beat until well incorporated. Add the flavorings and lemon zest.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl then add, bit by bit, to the butter/sugar mixture.You will have chosen a large bowl for this particular recipe, I hope - mine was overflowing by this point and I ended up doing the final mix in a large plastic bag.
Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour - preferably overnight.
Heat the oven to 350° F. Divide the dough into smaller balls and roll out 1/4 to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out cookies.
Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes, depending on thickness. The small, thinner ones started browning after about 8 minutes, and I didn't want these brown at all. The larger ones had a slight golden bottom after 11 minutes, which was perfect for my purposes.
Let cool before icing or decorating, and store in a tightly covered container