Homemade Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

While we were all home for Christmas break, we made sugar cookies with the trio.  Of course, decorating them was completely messy, but it’s become a Christmas tradition at our house.  This cookie recipe is my favorite because the dough doesn’t have to be chilled, it’s easy to work with, and the taste is delicious (the secret ingredient is the almond extract!).  These are perfect for any type of cutout cookies — they don’t have to only be made at Christmas.

I made yellow, blue, green, red, and white icing (just add food coloring) and the trio had a lot of fun decorating them.  I had several different types of sprinkles, squeeze bottles, and bowls of icing that they shared.  Santa was left three of their masterpieces and there were two carrots for the reindeer.

Homemade Sugar Cookies
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Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add extracts and eggs. Add the baking powder and then add the flour a bit at a time. The dough does not need to be chilled. Divide into several batches and roll onto a floured surface to cut. They should be ⅛ to ¼th of an inch thick. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Decorate however you choose -- the trio used royal icing and sprinkles.

 

Clara sugar cookies Sugar Cookies 2 Anna making sugar cookies Christmas cookies 3 Bo sugar cookies

Dark Chocolate Mint Fudge

Mint Fudge

I wasn’t planning to post again before Christmas but I made this dark chocolate mint fudge on Friday evening and it’s too sinful not to share.  This fudge is very simple to make and tastes decadent and indulgent.  If you’re looking for a last minute gift or just something to enjoy with your family, this is perfect.

Mike and I have been enjoying our time off with the kids.  We’ve built forts and Lego creations, cuddled on the couch while watching Polar Express, and cooked plenty of yummy food.  Today, we’re going to the movies to see Frozen.  The countdown to Santa is in full swing and we’re enjoying every minute. I hope you’re enjoying the season as well.

I love the combination of chocolate and mint — but during the holidays it seems to taste even better.

Dark Chocolate Mint Fudge
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Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 3 - 10 oz. bags dark chocolate chips
  • 1 - 10 oz. bag Andes mint baking chips
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ to 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ tsp. peppermint extract
  • ⅛ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray or line with foil. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the sweetened condensed milk, dark chocolate chips, and 1 cup of the Andes chips. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted. Add the heavy cream ⅛th of a cup at a time and continue stirring until the chocolate no longer looks granulated and appears more glossy. It should look like thick, glossy, chocolate cake batter. You do not want it to be too thin. Remove from heat and add the salt and extracts. Pour the hot mixture into the prepared 9x13 pan and smooth. Top with remaining Andes chips. Refrigerate for several hours until set.

Mint Fudge 2

Sticky Buns

For years, these sticky buns have been our Christmas morning breakfast. My mom started making them on Christmas morning when I was in high school and it became a tradition.  The best part about these rolls is there is relatively little prep work so they are quick and easy to throw to together before bed on Christmas Eve after an exhausting evening playing Santa.

On Christmas morning, just heat up the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  By the time we finished our stockings and Santa gifts, the rolls were ready to enjoy for an effortless Christmas breakfast that still tastes special.  I bet they’d be a great New Year’s Day breakfast too…

Sticky Buns
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Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 22 Rhodes dinner rolls, frozen
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 small package Cook-n-Serve Butterscotch pudding mix
  • ½ cup chopped or halved pecans (optional)
Instructions
  1. Spray a bundt pan with PAM. If using pecans, distribute the nuts around the bottom of the pan and top with the frozen rolls. Sprinkle the pudding mix over the top. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook until well combined. Pour the butter mixture over the top of the rolls. Leave rolls to rise overnight (or for at least 7 hours).
  2. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip bundt onto a serving dish and serve.

We only did half of the pan with nuts, as the trio isn’t a big fan of them.  Anna and Clara each had two rolls but Bo didn’t have any this year.  I think he was too excited about his new gifts!We had a lovely holiday!  I hope your family did too!

Aunt Sally’s M&M Cookies

For me, it just isn’t Christmas without lots of baking and goodies.  Growing up, my mom and Aunt Sally would both bake like crazy during the Holiday season and on Christmas Eve there would always be a table filled with all types of treats.  I’ve always loved baking and I love sampling everything even more.  One of my goals it to carry on the tradition of making holiday goodies with my trio — we’ve got lots of recipes on our list this year!

Aunt Sally passed away when I was in high school, but her memory lives on.  This year, I knew that I needed to make a batch of her M & M cookies — they were always one of my favorite Christmas treats — so I asked my mom about the recipe and she swore it was on the M&M package.  Of course, the package I had didn’t have a recipe — so I Googled it and tried a batch, but they just weren’t right.  Finally, I wised up and messaged my cousin Kelly and low and behold, she had the recipe.   They are perfect.  They taste just like they did when I was little. I couldn’t be happier.

We made these yesterday afternoon and we all had a cookie (or four) after dinner.  Delish!

Aunt Sally's M & M Cookies
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Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ cups M&M's
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a stand mixer, cream shortnening, sugars, eggs, and vanilla thoroughly. Add dry ingredients gradually to creamed mixture, mixing well. Fold in ½ cup M&Ms, reserve remaining M&Ms for decorating. Drop by teaspoon (or melon baller) onto baking sheet. Decorate tops of cookies with remaining M&Ms - I do about 3 per cookie on top. Bake 10 to 12 mins or until golden brown. Makes 6 dozen 2½ in cookies.

Cake Batter Cookies

Last Thursday, both Bo and Anna were home from school sick.  Anna was coughing and had a fever on Wednesday and Thursday, and Bo was coughing too.  Clara trotted off to school all by herself like a big girl, while the sickies attempted to entertain themselves while I worked.

By mid-day, Bo and Anna were both a bit stir-crazy, so after lunch we decided to make some Christmas goodies to surprise Clara with as an after-school snack when she arrived home.  However, since they were both sick, I didn’t really want them touching and sneezing on the ingredients, which they weren’t thrilled about – they like to be right in the middle of my baking creations.  Bo and Anna sat at the bar and I gave them each spoons of cookie dough while I pulled these cookies together.  The recipe they are based on was from Pinterest (where else?) and comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction.  I also halved this crockpot hot chocolate recipe so it would fit in my small crockpot to accompany the cookies – it was VERY sweet hot chocolate!

As soon as Clara was in the car, Bo and Anna were both excitedly telling her about the special treat we had at home — and everyone enjoyed sampling the cookies and hot chocolate.  After our snack, we wrote our letters to Santa — luckily, the trio has been pretty good this year so I think they’ll get several items off their lists.

Cake Batter Cookies
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Serves: 25
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sprinkles (or more -- original recipe called for a full cup, but that seemed like a lot)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, baking powder, eggs, oil, and vanilla by hand. Mix well until a soft dough forms. Fold in the sprinkles.
  3. Using a melon baller, drop balls of dough onto baking sheets. Bake for 9 minutes -- the cookies will not brown. Allow to cool on the sheet for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Makes approximately 25 cookies.

 

 

Tuesdays with Dorie: Linzer Sables

These are officially the “it” cookies to leave for Santa. In the coming years, as Bo becomes more able to help in the kitchen, I hope to have a batch of this dough frozen in sheets and on hand for Christmas Eve cookie baking. I can’t imagine a better activity than making beautiful cookies to set out for Santa on Christmas Eve. I hope that these cookies become a part of our holiday traditions.

A big thank you to Living the Life who chose these cookies this week. You can find the full recipe on her blog or buy purchasing Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

The dough for these cookies was simple to put together. I started by whisking together the dry ingredients. Amazing that the main base for these cookies is pulverized almonds. But I think that is truly what makes them so yummy. The flavor reminds me of the Windmill cookies I loved as a kid.

Meanwhile, I threw the sugar and butter into my trusty KitchenAid and let it work it’s magic.

Then you just add a few eggs and the dry ingredients and presto — dough!

The next step is to divide the dough into two balls and sandwich it between pieces of wax paper.


Then, I rolled the dough out so it was very thin.
I threw the dough in the freezer and tried to make the cookies about an hour later but the dough thaws very quickly. I had much more success after waiting 24 hours and then removing the dough from the freezer one sheet at a time. The cookie cutters I used had delicate edges and only worked well with the dough very cold.

I placed the cutouts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and baked them for 10 minutes.

The results were beautiful cookies that were easy to sandwich together to make the raspberry filled creations above. These cookies taste great too. This recipe receives 5 stars from those of us at Chez Sticky Feet and definitely deserves a place of honor as the cookie that Santa receives for many years to come.

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