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Tessa’s

CHRISTMAS COOKIES EASY RECIPES FOR THE BEST HOLIDAY TREATS TO ENJOY AND TO SHARE!

TESSA ARIAS


An absolute holiday classic, my Gingerbread Cookie recipe yields incredibly soft and flavorful cookies that hold their playful shape as they’re baked. The decorating options are endless here and make for such a fun day in the kitchen!

gingerbread COOKIES

- Makes about 24 cookies -

INGREDIENTS: • 3 cups (13.5 ounces) all-purpose flour

• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

• 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) light brown sugar, packed • 1/2 cup (6 ounces) unsulfured molasses • 1 large egg

DIRECTIONS: 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to combine. 2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until well-combined and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg and molasses and beat until combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Shape the dough into a thick disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours or up to 2 days. 3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. 4. Remove the dough from refrigerator and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until warm enough to roll with ease. Place the chilled dough in between two large pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap on a work surface. Roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the dough and place on prepared baking sheets, spreading at least a 1/2-inch apart. Reroll remaining scraps of dough into 1/4-inch thickness and cut out more shapes. If the dough becomes too soft, return it to the freezer or fridge until firmed before continuing with shaping. 5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are set and begin to brown slightly at the edges, rotating sheets halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 3 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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easy

COOKIE ICING This icing works best with any sturdy and flat cut cookie, such as sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies. The icing keeps very well and can be stored in the fridge for several days. Return to room temperature before using. The iced cookies also keep very well, up to 10 days at room temperature! - Yield: enough icing for 1 batch of cut out cookies -

NOTE: SEE A STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO WITH TIPS AND TRICKS FOR USING THIS EASY COOKING ICING METHOD HERE.

INGREDIENTS For the border icing: • 1 cup (4.4 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract • 2 tablespoons water or milk • Food coloring, if desired For the flood icing: • 1 cup (4.4 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract • 3 tablespoons water or milk • Food coloring, if desired

TESSA’S TIP: The iced cookies will need to dry for 24 hours before they can be safely moved or packaged. Clear a workspace to leave the cookies untouched while drying.


DIRECTIONS For the border icing:

In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. Beat in the food coloring, a few drops at a time, until colored to your liking. The mixture should be very thick but still pourable. Transfer the border icing to a squeeze bottle using a funnel. You can also scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip. Before you begin icing any cookies, take a few moments to practice on a piece of parchment paper to get the feel of the icing. Holding the bottle or bag tip directly over one corner of a cookie, begin tracing an outline of the cookie, squeezing gently and using both hands if needed to maintain consistent pressure. I prefer to allow a little slack in my icing line as I go. If you mess up, simply wipe the icing off and start again. Allow the icing to dry slightly before continuing with the flood icing. For the flood icing:

In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. Beat in the food coloring, a few drops at a time, until colored to your liking. The mixture should still be pretty thick, but will drizzle more freely than the border icing. If needed, add additional

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SMALL COOKIE BOXES I scored these perfectly sized cookie boxes from the Sunny Side Up brand at Hobby Lobby. They fit about one to three cookies perfectly, depending on their thickness, and even have a little window on top to sneak a peek. They almost look like teeny cake or pie bakery boxes, which I adore. Wrap them in some colorful baker’s twine and you have completed this too cute, yet simple look!

LARGE BOXES For when you want to fit more cookies in one box, especially a variety, larger boxes like this one certainly come in handy. You can even place the smaller cookie boxes inside a larger box to separate the various cookies. Some boxes, like the Wilton brand sampler boxes, come with removable trays to separate things as you please. I prefer to only line the box with simple tissue paper to allow the cookies to take the spotlight.


TINS

EGG CARTONS

I love using plain metal tins, with or without windows, for gifting cookies. They come in every shape and size imaginable and make easy work of packaging. Not to mention they look almost professional and are sure to impress all your friends and family. I pick up tins from The Container Store year-round and love that they are free of any holiday designs. That way, the recipient can reuse them for whatever she wants. Plus, the simplicity of a ribbon on a metal tin is just beautiful.

Whether you’re gifting candies or even mini muffins, cutting an egg carton in half and removing the lid makes for a perfect little tray to tuck tiny treats in.

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