Holiday Baking in High Gear

Cookie Cutting and Holiday Swaps Made Easy

So, like many other moms with young kids, the cookie baking is a key part of the holidays. The kids get all excited and jump up and down and want to decorate and make batches and batches. And then they Peter out and have some battle with the nutcrackers and Legoes, and I am cooking and cleaning and nibbling all afternoon. I know if I planned better, I could make the dough ahead of time, and bake in smaller quantities. But for me, it’s not realistic. I need a cookie, the kids need a cookie, their classmates, and my neighbors, and we all need them NOW. Now, I don’t want to buy 6 dozen cookies because a.) they will be loaded with unpronounceable things. Or b) they will be outrageously expensive.

Enter our own Vanilla Sugar Cookies. Now, I haven’t tried this trick with our Gingerbread Spice, but I bet they would work the same. If you give it a try, send me word, and I’ll share it!

OK, so I need 6 dozen cookies. I get 3 packages of Immaculate Baking Vanilla Sugar Dough. I toss two in the refrig, and open the third. I preheat my oven to 325 – not the 350 on the package because I am going to roll them a bit thinner. I flour my kitchen table, grab a rolling pin, and take half the package and roll it into a ball. Then, using flour liberally, I roll the dough out. I like really thin Christmas cookies, so I roll as thin as 1/8 – 1/4 of an inch. Then I use my holiday cookie cutters and place them on my lined cookie sheet (I use a slipat, but parchment paper works just as well). Groovy decorations: sugar, red and green candies, etc. Then, they go into the oven for 12 minutes.

While those are baking, roll out the other half package of dough. Keep an eye on the baking cookies. Since they are thinner, they can jump from perfect to burned FAST. Like I said, I timed it with 12 minutes. Cool and sample. Repeat . . . working one package at a time. By now, the house smells so good, and the kitchen is full of mischievous children who offer to decorate.

So, 6 dozen cookies, I am talking an hour. Including cleanup.

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