Most of my friends know what they’re getting for Christmas this year. Cookies… and lots of them. In fact, you don’t even have to be on my gift giving list to get some cookies. I’ve been handing out plates of cookies to my next door neighbor, the guy that works at the front desk in my apartment building, my coworkers… I even left a plate of cookies anonymously in our break room.
This week I came across another outlet for my holiday cookies. Every holiday season we have a fundraiser at work to raise money for local charities. This year we introduced a silent auction as a part of our fundraising efforts. I donated twelve dozen Christmas sugar cookies to be delivered to the winner on a pre-determined date. The bidding was competitive and at the end of the day, my cookies sold for $30.
After checking in with the winner, I learned that my cookies would be making their debut at a dinner party as a dessert. I had a fun time making them knowing they’d be going someplace special. And more importantly, knowing they wouldn’t be sitting around my kitchen tempting me like all the other baked goods in my apartment.
1 ½ cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites, beaten
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on floured surface ¼ to ½ inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
In a bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar. Using electric mixer, beat in 2 beaten egg whites for about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to hold its shape. Add desired food coloring to frosting and transfer into a piping bag for decoration.
Heather’s Helpful Hints
It’s easy to make swirls in your frosting like I did for the snowflakes. Simply fill your sugar cookie with your base color and then immediately put dots of a second color on top. Then use a toothpick to swirl the colors together. It’s important to work quickly so the frosting doesn't start to set before you swirl the colors together.