Written and Photo By
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
From the 2022 Trailblazher Holiday Gift Guide
1 1/2 c butter
2 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
5 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream gently softened butter with sugar, then incorporate eggs one at a time as well as the vanilla or almond extract. Beat mixture vigorously by hand until smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture. Cover and place dough in the fridge for 30-60 min until firm enough to work with. Prepare a lightly floured surface and roll a portion of the dough out with a rolling pin until it is 1/4″ thick, being careful to roll a little and then gently lift the dough up to ensure there is flour on the countertop underneath the dough to prevent sticking. This is where the fun begins! Choose fun and festive cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Cut cookies out of your rolled dough as close together as possible because each time your dough is re-rolled it may become more crumbly and difficult to work with. For a cookie that sits on the edge of a mug, cut a small notch in the cookie with a knife approximately 2.5cm long and 5mm wide (see image). (Tip: cut out your nice cookies before letting the kids loose with cutters;). Prepare baking pans with a sheet of parchment or a baking mat. A very thin, metal spatula can be helpful to lift cookies from countertop to baking tray if they are delicate. Baking times can vary from 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness and size of the cookies. Place similar sized cookies on the same baking pan. Mini cookies may burn if baked alongside larger cookies. Let cookies cool and set for a couple minutes after removing them from the oven and transferring them to a cooling rack. Let cookies cool thoroughly before decorating.
**Using Royal Icing can have a small learning curve, but with a little time invested you have the ability to make irresistible cookies for almost any occasion. Even the kids can create amazing results!
3 Tbsp Wilton meringue powder
4c sifted confectioner’s sugar
6 Tbsp water
Combine ingredients EXCEPT 1 Tbsp water in bowl of an electric mixer. Beat for 7-10 minutes on medium speed until peaks form. Makes approximately 3 cups. To make icing to outline the design shape on your cookie, icing needs to be a bit thick. Using a grease free spoon drop a spoonful of icing back into the bowl. If it smooths out after a 15 second count it is ready to use for outlining. If it remains too thick, thin the icing with 1/2 tsp of water at a time until desired consistency is reached. For the icing that fills in the face of your cookie, thin a portion of the icing with a tsp of water at a time until a spoonful of icing dropped in the bowl levels out after a 10 second count. Makes approximately 3 cups.
To pipe the icing on your cookie, first outline the cookie to create a barrier to hold the fill icing in. Fill an icing bag or large ziplock bag fitted with a #2 icing tip and pipe the desired outline on your cookie. Next fill in your design with a drizzle of the thinner icing. It may be easiest to place a drop of icing in the centre of your cookie and use a toothpick to encourage the icing into corners. Decorate with an assortment of sprinkles. Defining a specific color pallet can really take things to another level!
Passionate about making her house a home, Diane resides in the British Columbia interior with her husband, son, and daughter. Hoping to ignite their interest in home cooking, she involves the kids in the planning and preparation of meals and treats which has led to many delicious – and wonderfully chaotic – culinary adventures in the kitchen. Tying her background in healthcare into building a happy and healthy home, baking has been a natural segue for the kids to develop kitchen skills and foster creativity in the kitchen. Diane’s baking is a complement to her keen interest in creating healthy and delicious family meals filled with fresh milled, whole grain sourdough creations and garden fresh produce.