This is my second year as a participant in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, where each participant sends one dozen homemade cookies to three different people chosen by the organizers. I love to bake and love eating cookies so I thought what a great way to get three different kinds of delicious cookies in exchange for doing something I truly love? A definite win-win situation!
This year I made Light Spice Holiday Cookies using a recipe I found on the King Arthur Flour website. I like this one because it's got a nice spice flavor but isn't heavy on molasses. Some people love cookies with lots of molasses but I don't. The recipe calls for only 2 tablespoons which is just right for me!
The cookies are decorated with vanilla royal icing and accented with spirals of red sanding sugar.
Light Spice Holiday Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, sugars, baking powder, spices, and salt until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses, and beat well. Mix about half of the flour into the butter mixture. When well combined, add the cornstarch and the remaining flour. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half slightly to make a disk. Smooth the edges by rolling the disk along a lightly floured work surface. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour (or longer), for easiest rolling.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface, and the dough. Roll it out as thin or thick as you like. For slightly less crisp cookies, roll it out more thickly. I like to roll cookies 1/4"inch thick. Use flour under and on top of the dough to keep it from sticking to the table or rolling pin.
Alternatively, place the dough on parchment, and put a sheet of plastic wrap or another piece of parchment over it as you roll, pulling the plastic or parchment to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour.
Transfer the cookies to ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets and bake them just until they're slightly brown around the edges, or until they feel firm, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool on the baking sheet for several minutes, or until they're set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Yield: 3 to 4 dozen 2 1/2" to 3" cookies.
I hope everyone enjoyed their cookies. Happy holidays!