DK Schoolhouse Crafting

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Goodies

 Classic Sugar Cookies

1 ½ cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

 Today's Sugar Cookies

When you drag out a baking sheet and start looking for your cookie cutters, keep in mind that old-time sugar cookies weren't decorated with silver balls or colored sugar crystals. In fact, some of the first sugar cookie recipes may have called for boiling the dough before baking it. Dough was rolled, cut into narrow strips, tied in a knot, and then boiled and baked. The result was a cross between the modern bagel and a cookie. Old style sugar cookies were often tough and dry, too. This made them portable and long-lasting.
Today you can make soft, scrumptious cookies in minutes, either from scratch or using any of a number of packaged mixes or frozen dough preparations. Want to make your sugar cookies special? Why not imprint them with unique, detailed scenes or designs using a cookie stamp? Unlike traditional cookie cutters, these die blocks transfer intricate patterns to sugar cookies that you can then embellish with food paints. Want to make your creation more portable? Bake a stick into the base for a unique sugar cookie that you can enjoy to the last crumb without ever getting your fingers dirty. Now, that's a 21st century cookie.

10 Minute Fudge

3 oz. baking chocolate, unsweetened (3 squares)
4 Tbsp. butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp.  vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. Melt chocolate and butter in top of 2-quart double boiler. Sift together powdered sugar and dry milk.
2. Stir corn syrup, water, and vanilla into chocolate mixture. Stir in sugar and dry milk in two additions. Continue stirring until mixture is well blended and smooth.
3. Remove from heat; stir in nuts.
4. Turn into greased 8-inch square pan. Cool until firm. Cut into squares.

Sugar cookies and fudge make classic Christmas treats. Put a spin on them by making a cinnamon version of a sugar cookie or by adding mint to you fudge. Either way, these mouthwatering morsels will be a delightful addition to your holiday celebration.

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