Oh the holidays, full of family, fun, and food. Lots of food. I feel like I can’t turn around without bumping into cookies, candy, or cheese balls. I love cookies, I adore candy, and who doesn’t appreciate a cheese ball? So, I guess what I’m saying is yay, holiday food!
My favorite holiday food is cookies. Gingerbread, peanut butter, snicker doodles, chocolate crinkles, and the classic sugar cookie. I can eat sugar cookies until the cows come home (and I secretly hope they never come home). Recently, I went to a holiday cookie swap. Everyone brought their favorite cookies and we swapped, ate, talked, and ate some more.
But, lately, I have had the self-control of a five year old when it comes to food. I want to eat and I want to eat it all now. I figure baby and momma’s gotta eat, right? And, eat we do. So, needless to say, this cookie swap was a bit out of hand. I ate more cookies than three non-preggers combined. But, who’s counting?
You would think that after 14 cookies, I wouldn’t be hungry. But no, I went home and polished off some cheese and a peanut butter sandwich. Which leads me to the conclusion, that cookie swaps are good and eating after cookie swaps are also good.
PS – want my favorite sugar cookie recipe? It’s below!
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until very fluffy and well blended. Add and beat in the egg, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until evenly incorporated. Stir in flour until well blended and smooth.
Divide the dough in half and shape into circles. Place each circle between large sheets of wax paper. Roll out a scant 1/4-inch thick, checking the underside frequently and smoothing out any creases. Keeping the wax paper in place, layer the rolled dough on a tray and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cold and slightly firm but not hard.
WHEN READY TO BAKE:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
Working with 1 portion of dough (leave the other refrigerated), gently peel away and replace 1 sheet of the wax paper. (This will make it easier to lift the cookies from the paper later.) Peel off and discard the second layer. Using 2- or 3-inch cutters, cut out cookies. With a wide spatula, carefully transfer them from the wax paper to the cookie sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart.
Roll any dough scraps between wax paper and continue cutting out cookies until all the dough is used. If the dough becomes too warm to handle at any point, refrigerate it again briefly. If desired, very lightly sprinkle the cookies with colored sprinkles or colored decorating sugar.
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 6 to 9 minutes, or until cookies are just slightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges. Rotate sheets halfway through baking for even browning. Transfer sheets to wire racks and let cookies firm up, 1 to 2 minutes, Then transfer the cookies to wire racks and let stand until thoroughly cool.
Store, airtight, for 1 or 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 1 month.