Grandma’s little helper
One of my favorite things to do with my five-year old granddaughter Daniella is cooking. Every time she comes over to my house she asks me, “nonna can we cook?” and every time I say yes. This holiday she wanted to make her own Christmas cookies as a gift to her mom and dad and grandparents.
There’s nothing like seeing the excitement in her eyes when she mixed the dough,or when she lifted the cutout cookies one by one and gently placed them on the baking sheet, and personalized them with icing and sprinkles. The joy I saw in her eyes when she decorated each cookie box and wrote each one of us a holiday card signed LUV DANI while singing Rudolph the red nose Reindeer; the love I felt when she carefully placed all her wrapped “presents” under the Christmas tree. My little princess with her Christmas cookies reminded me of making memories and spending time with family which is the true meaning of Christmas!
Dani’s Christmas Cookies
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1-½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking power
1-cup confectioner’s sugar
3 teaspoons milk
1tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparation for sugar cookies:
In a large bowl, with a hand mixer on low, cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth then beat in the eggs one at a time and the vanilla (make sure each egg is incorporated before adding another one). Slowly stir in the combined flour, baking powder and salt, blend well. Cover, and then chill a minimum of 1 hour (can be refrigerate overnight)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place half the dough between two large sheets of parchment paper and roll out the dough ½ inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Gently lift the cookies and place 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely before icing.
Preparation for icing:
In a medium sized bowl, stir together confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth, add the corn syrup and continue to stir until the icing is smooth and glossy, if icing is too liquid add more confectioner’s sugar. If it is too thick add more corn syrup.
Divide into separate bowls, add food coloring and mix well.