Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cookie Bake 2012

Our annual Christmas Cookie Bake is an event we look forward to every year. We usually have way too much fun and wind up with way too many cookies and this year was no exception. Although there were fewer of us this year than last, there was no shortage of Christmas cheer....

Photo Courtesy of Teresa Klein

Last week's tragedy in Connecticut had me thinking about past cookie bakes, the friends who have come and gone, and wondering what the future holds. Will my friends and I continue baking until we're little old ladies? Will the tradition go on even if I'm no longer around? To be honest, getting together every year to bake cookies is more about the friendship than the food. It's a time when we reflect on the past year, talk about our kids, our health, marriage and relationships, look back at where we started and how far we've come. And while we may be exhausted at the end of the day, it's still a day we look forward to from the moment the last tray of cookies comes out of the oven.

As usual our day started out with breakfast; Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata, Roasted Potatoes, Oven Baked Bacon, Fruit and Tim's famous Sticky Buns.

After the delicious breakfast, the mixing, rolling, baking and decorating began...

Photos courtesy of Teresa Klein

As usual, there was even some singing....

(Sorry we didn't get a photo of the singing, but just picture us singing & dancing & looking cute)

In between the baking and singing, we managed to find time to take a quick break for lunch; Pasta Fagioli Soup and Tomato & Mozarella Panini.

And in the end, all of our hard work paid off.......


Most of the recipes for the cookies we made this year can be found here (from last year's cookie bake). 

From left to right: Snowballs, Snickerdoodles, Triple Berry Shortbread Bars, Molasses Crinkles, Peanut Butter Cups, Pumpkin Fudge, Chocolate Dipped Salted Caramel Coconut Macarons, Chocolate Oat Bars, Lemon Poppyseed Cut Out Cookies, Magic 9-Layer Bars, Cranberry Pistachio Cookies, Jackie's Tarts

Photos courtesy of Teresa Klein

This year, we're sharing the recipe for the amazing Lemon Poppy Seed Cut Out Cookies that Teresa made at the spur of the moment when we realized we didn't have any lemon cookies! They were a huge hit and definitely one of my new favorites. We hope you'll add this recipe to your holiday baking. It's definitely a keeper!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cut Out Cookies
Adapted from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle
This recipe makes a lot of cookie using a small cookie cutter

Photo Courtesy of Teresa Klein

Cookie Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
Zest from one large lemon
Approx 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 3/4 - 3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Icing Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 T corn syrup
2-3 T water
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the poppy seeds.

In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla bean paste and mix until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough forms a ball.

Roll out onto a flour surface about 1/4" thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters and place on parchment lined baking sheets.

Photo courtesy of Teresa Klein

Bake for 7-9 minutes or until just very lightly browned around the edges.

Remove from to cooling rack to cool completely.

While cookies are cooling, make the icing by combining all of the icing ingredients in a medium size bowl. Add more powdered sugar if needed to reach desired consistency.

Frost and decorate cooled cookies.

Photo Courtesy of Teresa Klein

Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.

So from our homes and hearts to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a sweet new year!

Photo Courtesy of Teresa Klein


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