Hola everyone! I'm writing from home! Yes, I'm back in Spain for the holidays, and I haven't stopped baking ever since I landed. Well, let's be honest, I haven't stopped eating either. Food's too good around here. My mum loves feeding me. She's obviously convinced that I look too skinny, even if I've put a few pounds ever since she last saw me.
Even better, my entire family is now highly motivated with the whole baking business. Something unheard of. We've always been a family of cooks, but there used to be no bakers. I was the 'pioneer' and I've gotten all of them into it, which makes me insanely happy. In the last three days, I've taught my mum how to make bread, my sister how to make and decorate sugar cookies and I've had my dad help me out taking food pictures.
This cookies are my sisters' present to her friends. A couple weeks ago she sent me a link to a bakery here in Barcelona that makes decorated sugar cookies. They make nice stuff, pretty and also extremely expensive. 4$ a cookie, 40$ for a box of 4 Christmas themed ones. Apparently she's been buying them for a couple years for the holidays. I find it quite insane. I convinced her we could make a batch of 30 cookies for way less than 10$. And yesterday, there we were, hands on dough.
We had lots of fun with this project. I did the icing piping, she made the tree trunks with melted chocolate. And my future nephew, who is currently in my sisters' belly, was really happy with it. He started moving and kicking as soon as the cookies in the oven started impregnating the kitchen with a wonderful smell. The typical American Christmas cookies are the gingerbread ones, but here in Spain, people are not quite used to that flavor. I think sugar cookies make for a great alternative or even a nice addition to the gingerbread ones. And I certainly think you should make these!
Recipe adapted from Daring Bakers
200g / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C
Cut the butter in chunks and add the sugar. With your hands or a beater, combine until the sugar is completely incorporated in the butter. Add the beaten egg and mix until combined. Add the flour and mix with a spoon until you get a homogeneous hard dough. Refrigerate the dough for about 1 hr.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 cm or 1/5 of an inch. Cut the shapes with floured cookie cutters and place in a baking pan covered with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies is golden brown. Don't overbake them or they'll become hard. Let the cookies cool before icing.
Recipe adapted from Daring Bakers
(makes enough to decorate 30 cookies the way we made them, if you're planning on flooding them, I'd suggest you double the recipe)
150g – 175g / 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 Egg White
5ml / 1 tsp Lemon Juice
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and beat them by hand or with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes or until you achieve the desired consistency. Flooding icing should be thinner and runny. We were just 'painting' with the icing so we added a little bit more powdered sugar to make it thicker.
Mix the icing with food coloring as desired. Pipe on the cookies and let it dry overnight.