Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas decorated sugar cookies and travels



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!



Sugar cookies:
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.


Royal 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.


Enjoy!


12 comments:

Loreto said...

Jiji que galletitas más monas!!! disfruta de tus vacaciones por casa que siempre sientan genial!!

Un besito wapa y felices fiestas :)

Carmen said...

Perquè serà que les nostres mares sempre ens veuen primes ...... mai mengem prou.
Tens a tota la família embogida, i sobretot molt enfeinats, hi, hi, hi
Heu preparat unes galetes molt maques, m'encanten.
Molts petonets i feliç cap de setmana

Mercè said...

jejeje... aprofita-ho i gaudeix d'aquestes festes amb els teus!!
Aquestes galetes que heu preparat, us han quedat genials!
Petons!

Maria said...

Simplement m'encanten! El teu nebodet ja esta desitjant sortir per menjar-se una d'aquestes galetes!
T'han quedat molt molt xules, estas feta una professional!
Les fotos genials!
Muaks!

Rachel said...

Your Christmas cookies are priceless (unlike their pricey inspiration). Baking with your family sounds like a perfect way to spend the holidays!
I've never thought of gingerbread as the typical American Christmas cookie, maybe because my mom always made decorated sugar cookies. I love both kinds, and pretty much all the other Christmas cookies out there!

La cuina vermella said...

Guapaaa! que bé que estiguis a casa! ens fa mooolt feliços veure't tan contenta amb la teva família, i tots dins la cuina! Bravo per aquestes galetes, son precioses!! PEtons.

Mai said...

Benvinguda a casa! les galetes són precioses i no hi ha color amb les comprades i mes encara si estàn fetes entre tots i amb amor.
Gaudeix de les festes i de la família .
Tingueu molt Bon Nadal!

lisa said...

Adorable sugar cookies! Have a wonderful holiday in Spain!

Rachael said...

You are in Spain? And you have Powdered Sugar?? How can this be?

I am an American in Spain, and I've been trying to find alternative icing recipes. I found your blog by google searching "baking powder in spain", because I wasn't sure what it was called here.
But my questions seem to have been answered! I made a batch of gingerbread cookies with an improvised icing today. They turned out pretty well! And my Spanish roommates are loving them, too.

I like your blog though! So I am now "following" you.
:) Merry Christmas!

redmenace said...

These are very convincing. I bet they are tons better than the ones she buys from the fancy Barcelona bakery. Lovely! Enjoy the holiday in Spain! xo

Ksenia said...

Estàs a Barcelona? Sembla que mai coincidim! Jo el dimarts que ve me'n vaig a Moscou i no torno fins al 22 de març :O

Lo de la casa...doncs de momento no tinc casa pròpia (no tinc ni feina, així que seria difícil) i vivim tots junts. Jo estic durant la setmana perque una coneguda de la meva mare li sobren els pisos (ho dic seriosament) i quan li vam dir que aquest any començava la uni, em va proposar de viure allà perque ella i la seva asistenta només hi estàn uns quants dies a la setmana: la resta la passen a Sitges, en un altre pis (tinc la impressió que t'ho he explicat alguna vegada ja). Per sort quan li vaig dir que deixava els estudis aquest any no em va dir res i he continuat vivint allà perque tenia la "feina" de cangur.

Així que resumint...si perdem la casa, la perdem tots :( El meu pare porta dos anys sense feina i no te dret a atur perquè es autònom. Haviem anat tirant d'estalvis, però els estalvis tambè s'acaben i amb el sou de la meva mare no cubrim ni la hipoteca.

Aquesta va ser una de les raons per les que vaig deixar els estudis. Si les coses anessin millor, segurament hauria acabat l'any. Però com no és el cas, he preferit intentar buscar feina (sense gaire exit, per això) i ajudar mentre m'acabo de pensar bé que vull fer amb la meva vida. Però durant aquests tres mesos a Moscou es quasi 100% segur que estaré treballant de cangur :) El sou no és gran cosa, però coneixo a la família i són molt simpàtics.

Ho sento pel mega-comentari xD I a tu com et va? Aquestes galetes tenen una pinta boníssima! No m'estranya que li haguessis dit a la teva germana de fer-les a casa: 4$ per galeta? Jo ni boja ¬¬

Adriana said...

Your cookies look like they taste better than any store bought ones. I was planning on making and decorating sugar cookies this Christmas, but never got around to it. This is the push I need!

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