Cookies Are (Also) the Reason for the Season
2021-12-21 08:41:33 -0700

Cookies Are (Also) the Reason for the Season

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No matter what you’re celebrating this holiday season — or even if you’re not, really — December is the month of treats. (Ergo, January is the month of dieting.) This is the month to holiday-up your Starbucks order with whipped cream and the addition of a reindeer-shaped cake pop, to nibble on goodies your neighbor brought by (it would be rude not to!), and to “just one taste” your way through various parties and get-togethers.

There’s nothing quite like a beautiful baked good to provide both comfort and celebration. That’s why they seem to call to your soul, not just your taste buds. And, this month at least, you don’t have to make any excuses about why indulgence can be a very religious experience.

We’ve rounded up a few perennial holiday faves from our friends at Gathre HQ. Make a few batches to share, to trade at a cookie party, or to enjoy all by yourself in front of “The Holiday.” Jude Law and treats? Well, Merry Christmas to you, friend!

ELIESA'S MOLASSES COOKIES
1.5 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
½ cup molasses
2 eggs
4 tsp baking soda
4 cups flour
½ tsp cloves
2 tsp ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Melt the shortening; let cool. Add next 9 ingredients. Chill 1 hour. Roll into small balls. Roll into sugar. Don’t flatten. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

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KATI'S ALMOND SUGAR COOKIES

1 cup shortening
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4.5 cups flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Cream shortening, butter, and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Scoop onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes.

Icing
1.2 cup butter, melted
½ small can evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp almond extract
Powdered sugar to desired consistency

Thinner icing is easier to spread and is more flavorful. Icing hardens quickly; keep covered with a wet paper towel.

UTAH'S CHRISTMAS SWIG COOKIES

From Si

½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1.5 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
Sugar for top of cookies

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Preheat oven to 350. Take butter out of refrigerator and microwave for about 15 seconds. Place butter, oil, and cold sour cream in a mixing bowl. Mix for about one minute. Add sugar and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add all dry ingredients at once, including baking chips. Mix just until flour disappears and the mixture comes together in a ball of dough, about 1 minute on very low speed. Spray the cookie scoop with a little cooking spray. Scoop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, using an ice cream scoop or an overfilled 2-inch scoop. Place about ¼ cup sugar into a small bowl. Spray the bottom of a flat glass with cooking spray. Press the bottom of the glass against the cookie. Press the cookie so it’s flattened a bit (until the cookie dough just reaches the outside of the edge of the glass), twisting the glass as you press to produce a jagged edge. Continue until all cookies are flattened. Bake, 8 cookies per tray, for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly golden and cookies are slightly firm to the touch. Remove from oven; let cool. Loosen the cookies from the cookie sheet after cooled a bit, or they will stick to the pan (even though it has been lightly greased). Place the cookies in the fridge and chill.
 
Icing
½ cup butter softened
2 tbsp sour cream
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of salt
1-2 drops red food coloring
2-3 tbsp milk, if needed
Sprinkles
 
Beat together the butter, sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. When all ingredients are incorporated, add the drop of food coloring and a little milk if the frosting needs to be thinned. Frost after the cookies are completely chilled. Makes about 18 large cookies.

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