Day One - Baking - Sugar Cookies or Gingerbread Cookies
Day Two - Outlining, filling, and letting cookies dry overnight.
Day Three - Detail piping and Sugar Sanding.
Day Four - I will be making this a four-day project because I have
chosen to put each cookie into a separate cello bag that is tied with raffia and a note.
Sugar Cookie Recipe:
Yields: makes many
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 10 min
1 cup granulated
4 ounces butter
4 ounces Crisco shortening
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon salt
Royal Icing (see recipe below)
If you can have your room on the cool side (I like 65° when baking), the fats and sugar whip
up much better.
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a
large mixing bowl, cream sugar, butter, and shortening approximately 3
minutes or until light and fluffy on medium speed. NOTE: I used my
Kitchen Aid for these recipes. If using a hand mixer you will need to cream
approximately 5 minutes.
Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla
extract; mix an additional 1 minute Add flour and salt; mix on high speed
until dough holds together. Add one or two tablespoons of water if
Form dough into two disks
(6-inch by 9-inch) and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2
hours but better if overnight.
When ready to roll the dough,
remove one dough disk at a time from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured
surface, roll disk about 3/16 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with Snowflake Cookie Cutters or cookie cutters of your choice. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Gather and
press all scraps together (you can re-roll and cut shapes but keep it cold). Refrigerate cut cookies (on baking sheet) at least 30 minutes. Don't cheat
on this especially if you have cutouts in the dough.
Remove from refrigerator and
bake 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. For my oven
(which was calibrated before this project) 8 minutes was just right. Remove
from oven and allow cookies to sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to
allow them to harden. Carefully move to a wire rack to cool completely
before decorating with Royal Icing (see recipe below).
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe:
4 ounces butter
4 ounces Crisco vegetable shortening
3/4 cup lightly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses*
1 large egg
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon brown Food Gel Color**
You can substitute Kings Syrup or Treacle for the unsulphured molasses in the Gingerbread Cookie Recipe if you want a lighter colored cookie.
** Can be purchased online and at most craft stores.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two cookie sheets
with parchment paper and spray lightly with pan coating.
Cream the butter with flat paddle attachment
of electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until soft. Beat in
sugar; continue beating for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in
molasses and then beat in egg, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking
soda, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter
mixture in three batches, mixing just until each batch is blended.
into a large flat ball by hand, kneading a few times until smooth. Shape
into two disks (6-inch by 9-inch). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at
least 2 hours or until firm enough to roll out. Overnight is best.
out dough on a lightly floured surface to 3/16" thickness. Cut out shapes as
desired using either a gingerbread person shape or any other of your choice.
Transfer to cookie sheets using a broad-angled spatula, leaving at least 1
inch between cookies. Place similar sized cookies on the same sheet.
hanging ornaments, punch holes in the tops of the shapes with a straw.
For Snowflake Cookies, bake for 9 1/2 to12
minutes depending on size, rotating pans front to back once during baking.
They should just begin to brown around the edges and feel firm to the touch.
Remove from oven and cool pans on wire racks for a few minutes; transfer
cookies to racks to cool completely. Let pans cool completely before
proceeding with next batch; you may reuse the parchment.
Store in airtight
container at room temperature for up to two weeks or freeze for up to one
month. Decorate as you desire with Royal Icing.