Friday, December 3, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Cara: Friday Farrago


It's almost that time again. Cookie baking time. I have been stocking up on supplies here and there over the weeks. So I think I am pretty much set. I like to have everything I need for everything I make in case the urge strikes and I want to get baking. Ok I am lying...I probably would never just spontaneously bake Christmas cookies...I am more of a planning type of gal. But I still I need to be prepared. I will start probably next week.

I think there are 90 million Christmas cookie recipes out there. I came across a cookbook I have had since the year of the flood devoted only to cookie recipes. I usually stick to my tried and true. I am always tempted to try a bunch of new ones...it's really a LOT of work so I usually never get around to it. But I do have a 7lb can of almond paste...yes 7lbs to use up. Sadly, I am a little excited about that.

I will share a recipe that I made a few years back for Italian Day in Middle School. I have been making it ever since. I like it too because it's not just for Christmas. You can change the glaze from red and green to whatever color you want.


Italian Knot Cookies
1 8oz package cream cheese; softened
2 sticks butter; softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 teaspoons baking powder
5 cups flour (approx.)

Sift flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine cream cheese and butter with mixer. Add sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating until fluffy. Add flour mixture a little at a time while beating. (If using hand mixture you may have to stir by hand if mixture gets too stiff)

Form dough into large ball and let sit for a few minutes. (can even be refrigerated overnight; wrap in waxed paper) With floured hands, shape dough into a knot shape by rolling small pieces of dough between hands into a rope then twisting into a knot shape.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350° for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cookies will not be brown on top when done, only the bottom.
Cool on wire racks and dip into frosting.
Dust with sprinkles. Let dry on sheets of waxed paper.

Icing:sugar until it’s a consistency of soup; add food coloring and extract if desired)
Powdered sugar
Water
Anise, vanilla or other flavoring (if desired)
Red and/or green food coloring (if desired)
Sprinkles
(mix warm water with powdered/confectionary

Jenn's two cents: Kids are already begging for christmas cookies - they have been asking when the cookies exchange is! Maybe I will spontaneously bake some Christmas Cookies today and surprise everyone. These sound delicious!

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