Many fond childhood Christmas memories of mine involve Christmas cookies. My German grandmother would bake for days filling tins upon tins with a delicious assortment of baked goods. And what fun we had shaping cookies with different cookie cutters and later decorating them with my Mom?! Now that we have a child of our own I want to pass on that tradition and set out to baking Christmas cookies.
First I went to Blackhawk Hardware at Park Road Shopping Center to check out their huge cookie cutter assortment. The large display includes American-made Ann Clark cookie cutters in loads of fun and festive shapes. There are the classics like Santa Claus, snowmen, stars, bells and angels and then there are specialty cookie cutter shapes like cowboy boots and fleur de lis. I picked a gingerbread man and star cookie cutter, grabbed ingredients at the supermarket next door and was ready to bake.
Vanilla Cookies with Lemon Icing
For these yummy vanilla cookies with lemon icing you’ll need:
1.5 sticks softened butter
0.5 cups sugar
0.5 tsp. salt
2.5 tsp. vanilla aroma
2 cups all purpose flour
4 TBsp. lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar
Beat the butter, sugar and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until they have combined to a smooth consistency. On low speed, add the vanilla. Now turn the mixer off, dump all the flour in at once and mix it in at low speed. Once the flour has disappeared the dough will appear fairly crumbly. This is normal!
Shape the dough into two balls and roll them out on wax paper to about 1/4in thickness. Freeze the dough sheets for about one hour.
Preheat your oven to 375F and grease cookie sheets. Remove the dough from the freezer and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Now the fun starts and you get to use your cookie cutters! Cut out your favorite shapes and transfer them onto the cookie sheets. Bake them for 8-10 minutes until they are golden. Reshape the leftover dough, roll it flat, freeze and repeat!
Once the cookies are baked and cool enough to handle, allow them to completely cool on paper towels before icing them.
Add powdered sugar to lemon juice until they become a viscose mix that is fairly thick. Use a spoon to apply the icing to the cookies and decorate them with sprinkles as desired! Let them dry for at least an hour. Enjoy!