Last month, I mentioned that I bought Joanne Chang's new cookbook, Flour. Well, this past week, I finally baked from it! I decided that I was in the mood for Christmas cookies, so I made the Holiday Sugar Cookies recipe.
I'm a very simple baker and like to keep things easy. As I've said many times before, If I had to follow all the directions exactly, I would probably never bake from scratch. My baked goods aren't the cutest on the block, but they're still tasty! Also, I like to make smaller portions to restrain myself from eating too much.
So when I approached this recipe, I cut the recipe in half, decided not to refrigerate the cookie dough for 3-4 hours as instructed. I didn't refrigerate them at all actually. Also, I didn't make the frosting called for in the recipe. When it comes to cookies, I'm not a big frosting person. I had some leftover birthday cake frosting and added some red food coloring. I actually still have a bit of frosting left, because all the cookie dough did not get baked. Can you guess why?
These cookies were more than good! I really liked what Joanne wrote in her cookbook about holiday baking.
"Always remember to relax and enjoy it. If your decorating doesn't come out perfectly, it isn't a calamity. Holiday cookies are meant to look as if they came from your home kitchen and not from some factory that cranks out hundreds of identical Santas every day."For me, relaxing is keeping it really simple. Homemade Christmas cookies can be made from scratch with very few ingredients in just a matter of minutes. Sometimes we do need shortcuts, and Pillsbury is a fine company. I admit to buying their Crescent Rolls and pie crusts from time to time. But unlike what I heard on one of their a recent cookie commercials that annoyed me to no end, at least in my opinion, cookie dough is NOT an ingredient! Ahem. Below is the adapted recipe.
Holiday Sugar Cookies
(Adapted from Flour, by Joanne Chang)
Makes about 2 dozen small cookies.
1/2 cup butter (soft)
3/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Combine INGREDIENTS in medium bowl. Use your hands to roll dough into small balls. Bake at 350 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until browned. Let cool for a few minutes and frost if you like. They'd probably be fine with just a light dusting of powdered sugar or plain. Enjoy!
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