Happy Holidays!

It’s been finals time. I’ve been busy. Who isn’t? But see, the logical thing to do would have been to set aside non-essential activities in order to focus on passing my classes. Nope, not me. I think have baked more in the past week than I have all semester. It is after all, the ultimate stress buster. First, you can procrastinate by browsing hundreds of drool-worthy recipes online. Then you can waste at least a couple of hours in the kitchen actually making the darn things. To top it off, you can wallow in your stress by scarfing down some freshly baked cookies/cupcakes/anything chocolate with your equally stressed housemates.

But really, who am I fooling? Stress is stress and not even these cheery sugar cookies can write a paper or study for an exam. They can, however, remind you that the holidays are right around the corner. We can all take a break, a breath, and recharge a bit. Sometimes, though, you just need a little holiday cheer to push through to the real thing. We tried hard as we can over here at my house of diverse faiths and traditions. We have a tiny Christmas tree—topped with the Star of David—and we have a menorah. We have lights (Thanks Elaine!), we have cranberry bread (Thanks Rebs!), we have Now That’s What I Call Christmas! 3 (Thanks Betsy!).

And we have sugar cookies (Thanks me!). The kind you roll out thin and cut out with cookie-cutters and decorate with frosting and eat for months until they go stale in your pantry. Somehow these ones didn’t make it that long in our house… Anyways, I plan to bake (and eat) my way through finals. And now that I’m done (YAY) and heading home, I plan to bake (and eat) my way through winter break. If you need a little homemade holiday cheer, whip up some of these classic sugar cookies, and have a wonderful break, my friends!

Sugar Cookies
Adapted from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett

2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
large pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
Frosting or sprinkles for decorating

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. In another bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well blended and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, then the salt and vanilla, until evenly incorporated. Gradually stir in the flour mixture to form a smooth dough. If dough is overly dry, try adding some milk (just a tiny bit at a time) until the dough comes together.

Chill the dough for at least an hour or overnight. Remove from fridge and roll the dough out 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies with assorted cookie cutters and transfer carefully to an ungreased baking sheet. If using sprinkles, add before baking.

Bake for 8-11 minutes, until very lightly colored. Keep a very close watch as these will burn quite quickly. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes before removing them and let them cool completely before decorating.


One Comment to “Happy Holidays!”

  1. I hope you enjoyed my cookies–they came out looking very tasty. I’ve got a number of new cookies posted in case you’re interested in trying some additional recipes. Happy Holidays!

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