I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Star Cookies and Christmas Goodie Hand-Outs

I made some Christmas cookies and was asked how I got the star in the middle. I was also asked a question about how these cookies compare to the thumbprint ones. And the last question that my friends inquired about: what was in the filling and what was in the glaze? I had a friend ask me last year if I knew of an inexpensive way to ship cookies (she didn't want to purchase the tins). This year, I figured out a way, so I will share that too. So, wha la... you ask and you shall receive the recipe, lol. ;0)

Here are the finished star cookies cooling on their racks. Yum!
1 C unsalted butter
1 C wht sugar
1 egg
3 C's flour
1/2 tea salt
A Jar each of two kinds of jelly preserves (this yr I choose strawberry and orange marmalade, so I could have some red cookies and some that looked gold; raspberry works really well too).
2 C's confectioners sugar
2 tea almond extract (optional what kind of extract you use).
This yr I also dbled this recipe to get this many cookies in the photo, minus what my family ate before taking pic, lol.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray butter Pam on cookie sheets.
2. In Large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg.
3. In a second bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Dough will be stiff. On a nonstick pie mat or lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough out to about a 1/8 - 1/4 inch thickness. Cut this bottom Cookie into shapes (star or round is usually what I do; as you can see in the image, I did round this yr).
4. Set cookies on the cookie sheet, not touching, so they can rise a bit.
5. Put a dollop of jam in the center of the cookie.
6. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into the round shape w a star in the middle, or a star shape w a smaller star in the middle (any shape is fine). Note* If the dough gets too warm, it will be hard to handle, if this happens, just put the scraps into the refrigerator to chill a bit. This will make them also stick less to your cookie cutter.
7. Bake for 10 minutes, this will vary on how thick your cookies are. Watch until done, is what I typically do. The edges should be a slight golden brown on a few, but the bottoms should not be doughy.
8. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on racks.
9. In a smaller bowl, mix together the confectioners sugar and extract to form a glaze. Add water one teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too thick (I think I added around 9 tea's per single batch). You want the mixture to drizzle glaze over the cooled cookies. Let the extra just drip off.
You can use two separate cookie cutters to make the wholes in the center (one just much smaller than the larger one). But, here is how I did it:
This cutter comes w many different changeable shapes:
The bottom cookie is left just round, or it could be a larger star.
Here are the jams and extract I used. You can also use gelled icing to color your cookies; I sometimes do, but didn't this yr:
The difference between these cookies and thumbprint cookies is that they are really two cookies on top of each other. The thumbprint style is a thicker cookie that you press your thumb into and fill with filling. These are much thinner because together they make one cookie. You can also use crushed hard candies, I've done that in previous yrs.
Here is how I managed to pass them out, without purchasing multiple tins:
You just need tissue paper (I used white this yr), Glad wrap (optional), cellophane (I used green this yr), ribbon, parchment paper or wax paper, scissors and a handmade tag.
First lay out your material like this:
Cut this large sheet into two:
Note the ribbon is diagonal to make a candy cane stripe.
Wrap the cookies. I added the Glad plastic wrap to keep it fresher, but that is optional. Cut Parchment or Wax paper into circles to place between the cookies, so they do not stick together.
Here is a pile of handout cookies. Twist the ends, tie with your ribbon. Add tag, curl ribbon with scissors, and your done!
--And of course, this is how you can return Tupperware to your generous friends who gave you goodies. ;-)
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

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