Friday, December 11, 2009

Countdown to Christmas Recipe Ideas

With only 15 days left until Christmas it’s crunch time for holiday baking and entertaining. If your like me there is still shopping to do, house to clean, presents to wrap, and of course lots and lots of baking and meal preparation. So, in honor of these last few days of activity packed chaos I would like to share some of my all time favorite holiday recipes.

What would Christmas be without sugar cookies? I would like to share my family's favorite sugar cookie recipe. With only two weeks left there is still time to add these to your list of baked goodies.

My husband’s grandmother introduced me to this sugar cookie recipe years ago. It has become the only sugar cookie recipe that I use throughout the year.Christmas would not be the same without these delicious and festive cookies as the almond extract adds a unique and delightful flavor. For the past ten years around mid November my family starts to inquire about when I will be making these to ensure that I haven’t forgotten. It would be hard to forget something that is as fun to make as they are to eat.

I make several batches of these a couple of weeks before Christmas. After the cookies are completely cooled I make the frosting (listed below), decorate, and then freeze until needed. This frosting dries quickly and is perfect for decorating. I place the cookies in an large airtight container placing parchment paper between the layers of cookies. I also like to place these in gift baskets. You can use any kind of small plastic bag to put these in for gift giving. I use the small clear plastic bags that have holiday designs on them which can be found at most grocery stores this time of year. I place one cookie in each bag and then tie the tops with colorful ribbon.


Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1 egg beaten

2 1/2 cups flour

1teaspoon salt

1teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions: Cream butter and sugar together then slowly add the beaten egg. Add flour, salt and extract; mix well. Allow dough to chill in the refrigerator for 1hour. After dough has been allowed to chill, roll out on slightly floured surface approx. 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet for 7-9minutes at 375 degrees. Allow to cool before decorating.


3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons milk

6 tablespoons butter (melted)

Directions: Put the 3 cups of powdered sugar in a large bowl and add the vanilla. Add the milk and then add the melted butter. Mix until frosting becomes creamy. Separate the frosting into individual bowls and add your favorite food coloring. Stir frosting occasionally. Decorate and enjoy!