Friday, December 12, 2008

December Cookie Carnival

Who's up for a carnival? Anya and I were and we had a blast with this month's selection. Kate of The Clean Plate Club gave us two recipes this month, a vanilla and a chocolate cut out cookie. I decided to go for the chocolate cookie for two reasons. One, we just did a basic sugar cookie with TWD and two, well, everything is better with chocolate!

These cookies were fantastic! They were almost like a brownie cookie. They held their shape really well and didn't fall apart, but they had a brownie taste. SO GOOD! Then you go and add some yummy buttercream on top and you have yourself a delicious holiday treat!

I decided to use my star cookie cutters and make a little Christmas tree. I think it turned out cute and it was a fun little project. I dusted the tree with a little powdered sugar for a "snow" effect. Anya decided to just use sprinkles on hers, but she had so much fun decorating the cookies.

Enough writing... you know you want to see some pictures of Anya decorating these cookies!

Who says you can't decorate AND eat at the same time?

Placing those red hots in just the right spot

Anya REALLY loves those sprinkles!

That is one happy girl!

Chocolate Roll Out Cookies
Recipe from Dorie Greenspan
Makes about 60 small or 20 large cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkles or other sugar decorations (optional)
Royal Icing (optional)
Sift first 5 ingredients and cinnamon, if desired, into medium bowl. Stir chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Set aside.
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and beat in vanilla and chocolate. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just to blend.
Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form each half into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic and chill until firm, at least 4 hours.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling out.

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 1/8-inch thickness for smaller (2-inch) cookies and 1/4-inch thickness for larger (3- to 4-inch) cookies. Using waxed paper prevents you from adding too much flour, which will make the cookies tough.
Using decorative cookie cutters, cut out cookies. Cold dough is much easier to work with. If it gets warm as you're cutting out the cookies, place the dough—waxed paper and all—in the freezer for about 5 minutes.

Use an offset spatula to peel away the excess dough and transfer the cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather scraps, roll out dough, and cut more cookies, repeating until all dough is used. If not icing cookies, decorate with sprinkles or other sugar toppings, if desired.

Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are firm on top and slightly darker around edges, about 9 minutes for smaller cookies and up to 12 minutes for larger cookies. Line baking sheets with fresh parchment as needed. Cool completely on rack.
Decorate cookies with royal icing if desired.
DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made 4 days ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers.


The Blonde Duck said...

If only I wasn't allergic!

Megan said...

Oh she is just the cutest thing!

I have that recipe from Bon Appetit, and perhaps that is a project for the kids this weekend.

I have the stacked tree cutters but haven't used them yet. Just another thing to try and do before Christmas!

Maria said...

Super cute tree...and helper:)

Ingrid said...

Awww, she's a little cutie patootie! My Babygirl hated when we called her that, so, of course we did! You both did a great job though I agree with Anya you can never ever have too many sprinkles!

The McBride Family said...

Anya looks like she had a blast and look at those decorating skills!!!! Great job Anya!! (Oh and way cute tree Cristine! :) )

HoneyB said...

Anya is so adorable! She has beautiful eyes!

Your cookie tree is cute too ;)

Reeni said...

Your daughter is so cute, she is having so much fun. I love the tree, what a great idea!

Priscilla said...

oh wow Cristine, Anya is soooo cute!

Susan said...

What a fun memory to record...I love those things that you do with your kids that you can photograph for the future. One day your grandchildren will have so much fun looking at their Mommy making cookies! Oh sorry I get like this sometimes-making memories is such fun!
Anya is just precious! I love the cookies too...

Brad and Erica said...

Yeah for pictures of Anya! Tell Rocky that Elvis says hello. I miss you guys tons! The cookies look great too. I am starting to feel guilty for not baking enough...

Lori said...

A sugared up and happy little girl! Very cute.

I just LOVE that tree. Very clever Christine!

Pamela said...

That cookie tree is great! I have no time for cookie carnival this month. :o( Oh well...there's always next month!

Your daughter is beautiful!

SUGAR B said...

Is your daughter a super model? I am going to make these cookies before the month ends. I'll make the choco version. Thanks for the inspiration, sweetie! You are my baking hero.

Nathan said...

Cristine, it looks like you two had so much fun making this. Oh and it looks like it wants me to eat it UMMM. Love you

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