Who can resist cookies on the holiday tray? Whether you go all-out with icing and decorations or try just a few simple sprinkles, cookies are the best way to say “Happy Holidays” to family and friends. Recipes courtesy of Betty Crocker™ and Taste of Home.
Classic Christmas Sugar Cookie Cutouts
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
Betty Crocker™ Decor Selects candy sprinkles, nonpareils or colored sugars, if desired
In large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, the butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, almond extract and egg until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Heat oven to 375°F. Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough 3/16 inch thick. Cut into assorted shapes with cookie cutters, or cut around patterns traced from storybook illustrations. If cookies are to be hung as decorations, make a hole in each 1/4 inch from top with end of plastic straw. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until light brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
In medium bowl, beat all frosting ingredients until smooth and spreadable. Tint with food color if desired. Frost and decorate cookies as desired with frosting and colored sugars.
Lightly flouring the work surface is key to rolling out sugar cookies but another way to roll the dough is between two sheets of waxed paper or baking parchment paper. Lift off the top piece of paper and cut out the dough with your favorite cutters (try to cut the dough out with as little space between as you can, to minimize scraps). To decrease the chance of the cookies spreading too much, pop the baking sheet with the cut-outs into the fridge for a few minutes before sliding them into the oven.
Pecan Crescent Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour.
Stir in pecans.
Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 2-1/2-in. logs and shape into crescents. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 325° for 20-22 minutes or until set and bottoms are lightly browned. Let stand for 2-3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Chocolate-Toffee Thumbprint Cookies
1 pouch (17.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup HERSHEY’S natural cocoa
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons water
1 cup HEATH milk chocolate toffee bits (from 8-oz bag)
1/2 cup HERSHEY’S milk chocolate chips (from 11.5-oz bag)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons Betty Crocker™ Decorating Decors Jingle Mix nonpareils (from 2.1-oz container)
Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, mix cookie mix, cocoa, softened butter, water and egg with spoon until soft dough forms. Stir in toffee bits.
Shape dough into 48 (1 1/4-inch) balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets. Using back of round metal measuring 1/2 teaspoon, make 1-inch circle indentation in center of each cookie, wiping spoon occasionally to reduce sticking. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave Filling ingredients uncovered on High 30 seconds; stir. Continue to microwave in 10-second increments until chips are melted and mixture can be stirred smooth. Spoon 1/2 teaspoonful of the filling into indentation in each cookie. Top with nonpareils. Let stand about 2 hours or until filling is set. Store covered in refrigerator.