Decorated Cookies presented in a festive gift bag, make lovely gifts for Christmas for relatives, friends, young and old.
You can display them at the Christmas table, give them to your guests as a take home gift, give them to neighbours as a token gift or give them out to your child's school friends at the end of term. If you are having a party, they make very special kids party bags at this time of year too.
We have found an ideal basic recipe from Martha Stewart's website which is very simple to make.
Makes 18-20 4 inch cookies
- 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
- Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with a 4-inch one-piece-shaped cookie cutter. To make an ornament, cut out a hole from the center of the neck about 1/4-inch from the edge using a straw. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
- Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
These cookies can be decorated however you wish, you can even use ready made icing in tubes to decorate if you don't have time to make your own icing. You can create festive shapes using cookie cutters, such as stars, xmas trees, gingerbread men and so on.
Once they are set, pop them into festive cello bags and tie and tie with ribbon.
And there you have it, a delicious cookie gift to wish those around you a very merry christmas!