The Ghost of Cookies Present

For Christmas 2012, we made scads of cookies and other treats to share when our family comes to visit.

The irony here is that most of these cookies have been eaten since I photographed them a few days ago.  So they really are just ghosts now.  Memories of Christmas that might-have-been.  Sweet,  buttery, flaky, sugar-coated memories.  Sigh.

Our first recipe, as always, was sugar cookies. Of course, I used the New and Improved recipe, and not the lame traditional one I’ve used for the previous 37 Christmases.

Also new and improved this year: tiny cooky cutters. I found a set of 12 at JoAnn’s marked down to “put me in your basket because I’m nearly free”. My favorite is the holiday light bulb. S8 likes the baby Christmas tree. She says it looks like a fairy-sized tree, and we are All About Fairies in this house.

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As you can see, the girls use Every Single Cutter, at once, on their allotment of dough.  This is actually brilliant because it keeps them from accidentally cutting into another cookie they’ve already done, or putting the cutter over a hole where a cookie used to be.  Once all the cutters are placed, they remove them (and the associated cooky) one at a time.  It works.  Good thing I have a zillion cutters.

Actually, we made two three batches of sugar cookies. The first ones I cut out and baked myself when the kids were in bed, and they helped me decorate those the next day. I had to be sure the New and Improved recipe really was that much better. (It was.) But then they wanted to help bake, too, and since I gave the first batch away at a cooky exchange, we had to make more. And then most of those got eaten, so we made even more.  So there are actually two different days of baking and three different days of decorating shown here.  Whatever. It all blurs together when the sugar and colors come out.

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In this next photo you can see those brown circles off to the right, which are Moravian Spice Thins.  ZOMG.  No words for how yummy those are.  Sadly, they’re all gone- I traded them at a cooky exchange.  I might try to make more, but do I really need them?  No.

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More decorating:

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Here are my snow ladies:

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I also made pumpkin cranberry bread:

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Spritz cookies:

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Cinnamon rolls:

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and rugelach.  Rugelach is fun.  It’s a cream cheese pastry dough filled with chopped walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, sugar and apricot preserves.

Rugelach

It takes forever to make, but the end result is totally worth it.

Rugelach ready for oven

Baked rugelach

I did make a tactical error (the result of not reading the recipe carefully) and mixed the apricot preserves in with the other filling ingredients.  While it doesn’t affect the taste one bit, it does make it quite difficult to spread the filling onto the dough.  Apparently, the proper (read: sane) way to do it is to keep the preserves separate and spread them on the dough directly.  Then one can easily sprinkle the filling ingredients over top, cut the dough, and roll it.  Ooops.  I know for next time.

We also have a nice selection of cookies in the freezer from two cooky exchanges this year. I don’t even know what’s in there- I’m trying not to think about them so they don’t tempt me. The rugelach is bad enough.

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