I really enjoy baking, but with just the 2 of us I don’t do a lot of it. Until Christmas, then I damn near kill myself churning out cookies for friends, family, co-workers, and once a cookie exchange.*
After a near melt-down last year I decided to scale back this year and did 3 different kinds of cookies: sugar, gingerbread, and rugelach. For the sugar cookies I made a double batch and frosted 1/2 with peppermint cream so it was really like 4 kinds of cookies since I cheat like that.
Let’s start with the sugar cookies. I like soft, buttery cookies that hold their shape well because, cutouts. How often do you get to make cutout cookies during the year?
I’ve made them with double the vanilla and no almond extract too–yum!
I also used this Peppermint Frosting on 1/2 of them (and dipped them in crushed peppermint puffs–not quite a buttermint, but softer than a candy cane). I think I ended up doubling the mint extract in the frosting too (just add it to personal preference).
Matt has informed me that the gingerbread recipe I found a couple years ago is the best damn gingerbread cookie ever, and I can’t get this guy to get excited about anything. “Oh my god, isn’t this paint color PERFECT?” “It’s fine.” “Holy shit, this rug is positively divine!” “It’s fine.”** Heck, I couldn’t even get a reaction out of him when I insisted on flipping the fridge door hinge to massively improve functionality in our kitchen. Actually, not true, his reaction was a vehement “You better not change your mind because I never want to do that again.” But my gingerbread cookies? “The best.” Assuming you like soft, spicy gingerbread. They also hold their shape really nicely too!
The only change I make is to swap the lemon zest for orange zest. Ah-maz-ing.
And finally the rugelach. Never heard of rugelach? I never had either before stumbling across this recipe. It’s a very Jewish cookie so not being Jewish I apparently had been missing out for years. Now I make it for Christmas. I’m all-inclusive like that. The apple-cranberry-walnut is fabulous, but you can stuff them with whatever you want. Chocolate pistachio? Apricot? There’s a Jewish deli*** not too far from us and they have every flavor under the sun.
I double the dough, but not the filling since it make tons of filling. They’re a little putzy to roll up since the dough is quite sticky so it helps to roll them out on parchment then you use the parchment to help roll them into spirals.
Sorry, I don’t actually have any pictures… but it’s Christmas Eve and I’ve had a lot of other shit to do. Have a Merry Christmas everyone! We’re taking the weekend off to cram in 4 family Christmases in 3 days, but when we get back BATHROOM REVEAL!
*Never again. Unless there are 5 people, tops, involved.
**People have tried to explain to me that not everyone gets super-hyped over a perfect paint color, spends days trying to pick out the perfect drawer pull, or even makes you STOP THE CAR NOW to investigate a promising piece of furniture on the side of road. I don’t entirely buy it and given that you’re reading a design blog I don’t think you do either.
***If you’re ever in St Paul get thee to Cecil’s Deli. Then head to Minneapolis to go to Emily’s Lebanese Deli. Oh and get breakfast at Patisserie 46 in South Minneapolis. And if you’re feeling fancy go back to St Paul for dinner at Heartland. Then head to Izzy’s to get some ice cream for dessert. And if you can take it do a Juicy Lucy taste testing between the Nook (or Shamrocks), The Blue Door, Matt’s, and the 5-8 Club. Yeah, this is why we put up with the snow.