17-37: Holiday Cookies

Hopefully I haven’t caught you too late for this year’s batch of holiday baking. If so, keep this one around for next year–17-37: Holiday Cookies is a great butter cookie recipe for using cutters or presses. This is part of my big batch of assorted baked goods that I made as gifts for people this year–you can find the others linked at the end of this entry.

I got a new cookie press for Christmas last year, and finally got to test it out this year. This cookie press is AWESOME–so much easier than the old stubborn buggers from the past.

I’ve made these before (senior year of college, judging by the date), but I know the last time I made them, I used all AP flour instead of part rye, part AP. I also (going by my notes) added cinnamon, thinking they were too boring on their own. This time around, I’m going strictly by the recipe.

I’ve got my big bag of bulk bin rye flour, and the few other ingredients this one calls for (minus my addition of cinnamon last time). My husband had some old TMNT cookie cutters that he got from his mom, so we decided to give those a shot with some of the dough (along with using the cookie press and the methods in the original recipe).

This was the first recipe I made of my big assortment, so I needed to parcel out the butter for each one–needed to make sure I had enough for everything.

When creaming butter, cut it into tablespoons first–your mixer will thank you.

Sugary, creamy butter–a common theme of holiday baking.

Here’s what it should look like–probably even a bit smoother than this.

Rye flour from the bulk bin. Using the rye/AP flour mix DOES make a difference–you get a nuttier, rounder taste from the final product.

Remember, switch from the whisk to the paddle when you add in flour/dry ingredients–otherwise you get a big sticky mess stuck inside the whisk.

Wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and tossed it in the fridge for an hour. Which ended up being the next day.

I originally wrote the time on the dough so I knew when I stuck it in the fridge. I had intended to finish the cookies that same night, but it ended up getting pushed to the next day.

Next day. The dough was hard from sitting in the fridge all night, but an hour resting on the counter in a warm kitchen brought it down to a good rolling temperature.

Before I played with the cookie press and cutters, I wanted to do the method outlined in the recipe. I cut the large outer circles with a water glass. I didn’t want to use the fancy ones, but everything else was in the dishwasher.

I didn’t want to dig all the way through the back room to look for my sewing kit to get the thimble that the recipe recommends to cut the small inner circle, so I settled for the bottom of a new unused glue stick from the junk drawer in the kitchen. Worked well enough.

They look a lot like donuts here. After pulling the rings out, roll the leftover dough (including the small cutouts from the center) back up and start flattening it back out again with the pin to cut more.

After two trays of the rings with fork marks from the book, we (my husband and I) decided to try out the cookie press.

Here’s a picture of him making different shapes–we used about half the disks which gave us trees, fleur-de-lis, teddy bears, snowflakes, and a few hearts.

Here’s the ones with the cookie cutters. The cookies came out alright, but the press ones were much more impressive.

Finished rings out of the oven. These were good, but not very exciting visually.

Some of the trees (we had a LOT of trees) out of the oven. These tasted even better than the rings, even though it was the exact same dough.

Here’s the finished products all together–you can see a few bears and fleur-de-lis along with the trees and rings. We ended up with a lot of these–this recipe gives you a lot of cookie press ammunition.

Here’s this recipe, 17-37: Holiday Cookies along with the other recipes I made for my holiday gifts this year:

This one was a hit, and I’ll definitely use it again when I want to use my cookie press (there’s a lot more disks in there to try).

Grade: A