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Christmas Cookies 2008

December 26, 2008

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Here are this year’s cookies.  I made four kinds and it was a nice amount to give away and to have enough left for us to enjoy.

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The flat cookies on the right are Pecan Sandies, from the Cook’s Illustrated 2005 Holiday Baking issue. This is the first time I’ve tried these, and it won’t be the last!  I love a simple, buttery cookie, and these didn’t disappoint.  The chocolate ones are Chocolate Truffle Cookies from Taste of Home Annual Recipes 1999.  I’ve been making these for years, and they’re really good!  The ones with powdered sugar are Butter Chews.  This is a recipe from my grandma and it’s the first time I’ve tried to make it. They’re made in a 9×13 pan and have a crust made with butter, flour, and a little sugar and then a topping of brown sugar, egg yolks, coconut, chopped pecans, and stiff egg whites which are folded in at the end.  After baking and cooling, they’re cut into squares and rolled in powdered sugar.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had hers, but I think they turned out pretty well. I’ll have to see what my family thinks. I’m sad that I never baked with her, but it’s nice to have her recipes.

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These are cut out butter cookies, also from the Cook’s Illustrated 2005 Holiday Baking issue.  I went the extra mile and made royal icing to outline them and they turned out really cute.  I don’t like royal icing all over the cookie, so I filled them in with a powdered sugar and milk icing. I prefer butter cookies to sugar cookies, and for years I’ve been making shortbread dough and rolling and cutting it. With all the butter, the dough is hard to handle, so this year I decided to try the Cook’s Illustrated recipe.  It’s good, but I really do prefer the shortbread, so next time it’s back to that.  I did pick up some great tips from the Linzer Cookies I made for Tuesdays With Dorie, from the Cook’s Illustrated recipe, and from a Good Eats show about sugar cookies.  I found that chilling the dough, then rolling it out between two sheets of parchment, then chilling the rolled dough before cutting worked really well.  I also used rolling pin guides to get an even thickness. Taking the time and having patience really helps with cutout cookies!

Happy Holidays!

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