Normally today I would post a Frugal Friday tip. But with Christmas just a week away, I've decided to get busy with my holiday baking.
The munchkins were getting worried.
So was my Mister.
Our cookie jar usually is home to chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter and snickerdoodle cookies. For the holidays though, the cookie jar gets to rest.
The cookies never make it to the jar. Between gift tins/plates and my family's "sticky" fingers, cookies disappear quickly!
Please don't feel sorry for the cookie jar though, it'll be back in action by January 5.
After I've broken all of my New Year's resolutions!
For these cookies, you will need a cookie press. It is a great little gadget, but one I only use for Christmas baking. Not because I don't love it, but because I forget that I have it! Cookie presses come with several discs to make different shapes. I decided on the rosetta disc, since my miniature trees are going to need a little more practice.
Decorate the cookies with candies, nuts, candied cherries, dried fruit or colored sugar. But make sure that you leave some plain. These are great for coffee dunkin'!
And don't worry about the amount of butter in this recipe. Your hips will love you for it...
...mine are throwin' a party as we speak.
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 Tb. vanilla extract
2 cups finely ground walnuts
6 cups flour
1 t. baking powder
In an extra large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs until fluffy. Gradually beat in walnuts, flour and baking powder, blending thoroughly. Preheat oven to 375 F. Fill cookie press with dough. To make wreaths, fit cookie press with star disk. Force dough onto cold ungreased cookie sheets in a continuous strip. Cut strips into 5-inch long pieces. Shape each piece into a circle. Continue until cookie sheet is filled, arranging them about 1 inch apart. (They don't spread, so no worries.) To form a "bow", cut small piece of a candied red cherry for the center, and add sliver of green cherry to each side.
To make trees, rosettes or stars, fit press with appropriate discs. For each, stand press straight up and squeeze dough onto cold, ungreased cookie sheet. Release pressure and lift up slightly to cut off dough. Cookies should be 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with colored sugar or place cinnamon or silver dragees on each, as desired. Bake 8-10 minutes (Try 8 first, then adjust time from there.), or until bottoms are golden. Tops should be pale, not brown. Remove immediately from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks. Makes about 200 cookies.
*Variation* Chocolate Spritz: Add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa to 1/4 of the dough, blending thoroughly. Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.