Holiday Cookie Baking
Baking for the holidays has commenced in earnest here at home. The kitchen is permeated with the aromas of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and pepper, along with the sweet notes of brown sugar, molasses and honey. It's the time of year that I long for, because it means that I can start spreading some cheer.
I just want to suggest to you that making and freezing your cookie doughs for the holidays this week may be a good idea. All roll out cookie doughs, slice & bake refrigerator doughs and even drop cookie doughs can be made a month in advance as long as the cookies are sealed airtight. Rolled and cut cookies (unbaked) can be frozen flat and then sealed in airtight containers; bake straight from the freezer. Rolled, cut & baked cookies can also be frozen (with no icing or decorations) if sealed airtight. Doing this will streamline your cookie decorating projects for the holidays and make this task a lot more fun.
As for drop cookies, the doughs can be made and portioned out onto a large baking sheet and then frozen until solid. The mounds can then be transferred into freezer bags to be baked at a later date; bake drop cookies straight from the freezer.
Just recently, I was asked to make a set of special cookies for a child's birthday party and lucky for me, I prepared myself for this project by making the doughs ahead of time. The moon & stars were made with my Heirloom Sugar Cookie recipe which has become a favorite with many readers. If you haven't made cookies with this dough you certainly must for the holidays.
My friend Mally, along with her sister, commissioned a set of cookies for her great nephew & niece using my collectible Martha by Mail cookie cutters in the shapes of Moon & Star. These iconic cutters, to my mind, make some of the best holiday cookies for gift giving, but they can be used year round for any celebration. The sisters were so pleased with the cookies (not to mention the little ones) that they decided to use the images for one of their online auctions of these particular cookie cutters.
Think of this as a small reminder to gather your ingredients and make it a point to set some time aside for cookie dough making. I guarantee you will be thanking yourself in a few weeks if you make the minimal effort now.