I wait all year to enjoy the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Every year I watch it at Christmas time, and I hope that I have made an impression on others the way Gorge Bailey has. Each year, I am reminded that the value of family and friendship is what makes you rich. I love in the end how George receives the message that – No man is a failure who has friends. I value that statement… I also value the power of a good cookie!
Now I know that last statement may seem odd to some, but if you know me you will understand where I am coming from. To me a good cookie makes everything better. A cookie can bring a smile to the face of those you share them with. A good cookie makes you feel comforted and loved when eating one. Spending an afternoon decorating cookies is even better. It brings me peace. With the craziness of the season behind me to spend the afternoon with a friend icing, sugaring, and adorning each cookie has a Zen-like quality to it. With holiday music playing along with fun conversation I am at ease and I am realizing that there is love and friendship to surround me in my life.
As I snack on the cookies I reflect on the traditions of the season. I am so happy to have the two of these. I love watching this movie, and I love making these cookies! If you are interested in the recipe Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies you can find them here. The Chocolate Sugar Cookies are close contender and I sometimes think I like them more than the vanilla bean ones. Maybe it is the Peppermint Icing I pair them with. Maybe you can make a new tradition and bake some of them yourself. You can spend some time decorating them and enjoying the season as I have! Make memories, share the cookies; you might be making someone’s day with them…you never know the power of sharing - especially at the holidays.
Happy Holiday! Happy cookie making, happy cookie eating!
Chocolate Sugar Cookies (Makes 2 dozen or more depending on cutter size)
10 oz. Butter
1 ¾ cups Sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 ½ cups Flour
1 ¼ tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Cocoa Powder
¼ cup of Sugar
First, in the bowl of a mixer combine the 1 ¾ cup of sugar and the butter and mix together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and the vanilla until well combined and mixed to a smooth consistency.
Next; whisk together all of your flour, coco powder, ¼ cup of sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add your dry mixture to the bowl with the butter. Mix on a low speed until all of the batter is combined well and evenly smooth.
Then, roll out your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to about ½ inch thick, at least. Cut into desired shapes and place onto a lined sheet pan. Place the sheet pan in the refrigerator and chill at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sheet pans in the oven and bake about 8 minutes depending on size. Be sure not to bake until too golden in color. If they are still soft in the center that is fine, let them cool on a sheet pan on rack before decorating.
*Note: Baking these cookies too long, or mixing these cookies too long will make them tough and or bitter tasting!
2 cups powdered sugar, or more
¼ cup of water, or more
1/4 tsp of peppermint extract
First, in a bowl place your powdered sugar and stir with a fork. Be sure there are not lumps.
Next, little by little add some of the water you have and constantly whisk it with your fork. You want to work in the water little by little until you have a pasty, yet smooth consistency. You want the icing to be smooth and thick, but not drippy…if it is too drippy r runny you can add a bit more sugar to even out the consistency.
Then, when you have the consistency you would like for decorating you can whisk in the peppermint extract. When done fill a piping bag with the icing and you are ready for decorating. If you are leaving some of the icing in a bowl you can place a damp paper towel over the top of it to keep it moist while it rests…you do not want it to dry out.
Finally, once your icing is on you can dust with sprinkles and enjoy. If you are looking for the icing to harden you should let the cookies sit and dry out for a bit before enjoying.