Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Recipe Spectacular - Cookies - Colorful Swirl Christmas Sugar Cookies

I love baking!!! Love it, love it, love it.  And the best part about the holidays are being able to have an excuse to make yummy cookies, cakes, and desserts in general.  I got this off Pinterest via, how adorable are these cookies, I mean, really!?  Practice makes perfect, so try a batch early, say...right after thanksgiving and right before the next round of dieting begins.

2- Cups of Flour, plus 1 tbl Flour
1/2-tsp baking powder
1/4-tsp salt
2/3-cup unsifted powdered sugar
1/4-cup granulated sugar
2.5-sticks unsalted butter - cut into chunks
1-tsp vanilla
 1/2-tsp food coloring of your choice
1 1/2 cup holiday sprinkles

In a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugars with paddle on medium until well blended.

Add butter in, gradually and continue mixing. Add in vanilla extract. At this point, your dough will form a ball on the paddle.

Remove all dough and divide into two equal parts.  Return one portion back into the mixer and add the food coloring.  If using liquid food coloring, add a few more tbl of flour so the dough doesn't become too wet.  Mix until color is spread evenly.

Roll each portion of your dough, between two sheets of wax paper until it reaches about 11x9 inches and is 1/4 inch thick. Slide both onto a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
When firm, remove top sheets of wax paper from both.  Brush the uncolored dough lightly with with water using a pastry brush.  Then flip the colored dough onto the vanilla uncolored dough so they are stacked atop each other and even.  Press the edges lightly with your fingertips to seal them together.  Using a small paring knife, trim the edges to make the dough straight, even lines.

Pour out sprinkles onto a large platter and set aside.  Be sure your dough is still cold, but flexible.  Once it's ready, being rolling the long side of the dough into a swirl, jelly-roll style.  Now, don't get nervous if the outer layer of the uncolored dough tears a bit, it's okay.  Just pinch and pat...and keep rolling.

Now gently lift the log onto the sprinkles and roll away.  Cover the log completely with your sprinkles.  Wrap in plastic twice, and put in the fridge for 3-4 hours or freeze up to two months (SEE YOU CAN PLAN AHEAD!)

Slice your dough in 1/4 or 1/8 inch slices and bake on parchment lined baking sheets at 350 for 15 to 17 minutes.  Let them cool for five minutes.

A lot of work?  Sure!  But how else do you imagine a fun filled Christmas Eve, standing in the kitchen cooking and baking...surrounded by family and great friends.