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As I was looking through my cutter collection a month or so ago, which grows rather frequently, I realized my Christmas assortment was rather small. In my defense, my cutters are used for fondant too, so they serve dual purpose, and I haven’t made any Christmas-themed cakes in which I needed anything other than what I had. So, with the Godfather’s blessing I started hunting around for some new toys to add and I found… The Leg Lamp.
To be honest, I haven’t seen the movie in its entirety, although my Dad and the Godfather both like it. I’m scared of possible violence from the BB gun? There is a BB gun right? Anyway, I’m going to try and watch it this year, promise. I may even get motivated to make another batch of these cookies just for the movie viewing… probably not. Sugar cookies are far from my favorite dessert. I enjoy making them because they help me practice my fine piping techniques for cake decorating, they ship well, and look cute, and my recipe is fan-tastic, but most others taste like sweet play-dough. When I chose to offer them at the bakery, I spent a long time perfecting my recipe so the dough actually tastes good and has a crumb I like. And no, I’m not ready to share it, so this is still not it. :-p
But it is a fantastic eggnog-inspired recipe you should totally make this year! It tastes great on its own, but it also holds its shape perfectly to make a good base for your preferred decorating frosting.
I had a question about the frosting recipe I use for making my decorated cookies. I really like, and have always used, the Sweetopia recipe for royal icing. Want to know why? I liked the illustrations. And it makes the perfect amount for a few dozen cookies, just right when I’m making a few batches. So I’m going to send you over there to see the pretty illustrations too. She’s a phenomenal cookie decorator and her website has loads of inspiration and tutorials, so it’s definitely worth bookmarking, I always learn something new. I do make one bitsy modification though and I add a little more flavoring. Meringue powder is blegh, so you need to flavor it with something. A clear flavoring is great – I’ve used lemon, almond, and coffee to add a light compliment to the cookie depending on dough flavor. Real vanilla extract only comes in color though, and that is my default, so when I use that, I add white gel coloring to bring me back to a nice white base.
If you don’t plan to make several dozen cookies and want a frosting recipe for a smaller quantity, I have one in my Halloween cookie tutorial. 😉 With either recipe you will get a nice hard frosting that will be completely dry in 6-8 hours so you can stack, ship, and share. Meringue powder can be found at craft stores and some grocery stores. I haven’t found a significant difference in flavor or function between brands, so whatever you find is good.
I do hope you’ll enjoy the tutorial! You’ll see in the video that I am using two different types of containers for my icing. I have two colors in my usual piping bags, and one color in a bottle. As part of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, I received a promotional gift from OXO, a set of two decorating bottles. I had tried bottles for decorating once before and I wasn’t happy with them, so I was hesitant when I saw these, but having several OXO brand items in my kitchen (including my new ridiculously efficient grater that I purchased), I decided to give them a try. I’m impressed. I didn’t really like the small decorating tip they had, so I used one of my own and it worked nicely with the bottle. My frosting didn’t dry out and I had no issues with flow, and the bottle is small enough that I can control it easily with my small hands. So I like them, and may pick up a few more since they’re reusable and flip inside out for really easy and thorough cleaning – which was one of my BIG issues with bottles before.
Here’s a link to the video, with the recipe for the eggnog sugar cookie dough below. If you have any questions, comment below, find me on Facebook, or send me an e-mail! I hope you enjoy the tutorial and recipe. Happy holiday baking! 🙂
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, unpacked
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Cream together the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer until just combined.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- In another bowl, mix together the salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and flour.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 batches to the butter and mix just until all the flour has been incorporated.
- Split the dough in two and roll each section to 1/4" thick between two sheets of plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400F. Remove the cookie dough sheets one at a time from the refrigerator. Cut out your shapes and lay them on ungreased parchment paper lined baking sheets. Re-roll and refrigerate any remaining cookie dough.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are a very light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to set on the sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies must be completely cool before decorating.