Wednesday, November 3, 2010

International Christmas Cookie Party

I'm joining Johanna for her International Christmas Cookie Party over at Silber & Rosen,
bring your cookie recipes to share and sample cookies from other readers.
Whatever Goes Wednesday over at Someday Crafts
Night Owl Crafting is hosting another Hoo's Got Talent party

I've been making these cookies since I was a little girl.
The cutters were originally made by a small company in Oklahoma in the early 1950s,
but are now available on the web from Gramma's Cutters . The website has all kinds
of fun information on the history of these cutters and tips on recipes and icings.

Sugar Cookie Recipe
(this is just one suggestion, use your own favorite sugar cookie recipe if you like)

4 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Shortening -- cut-in until fine
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Soda
1/4 Cup Milk for Crunchy Cookies (or for soft cookies - 2/3 Cup Milk)
1/2 Teaspoon Almond Flavoring (optional)
Make a well in the flour mixture and slowly add everything to it, mixing thoroughly.
On floured surface with flour coated rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/4 to 3/8 inch thickness.
With floured cutter, place cutter on dough and press down firmly with fingers all around edges to make sure the entire edge is cut. (Helpful hint - very lightly sift flour on top of rolled out dough. This helps reduce the number of times cutter has to be floured). 

With spatula, lift cutter and dough. With thumb, rub cutting edge clean of dough and gently press dough into cookie cutter, being careful not to press dough to thin inside the cutter. 

Tap cutter down on table, cookie sheet or in your hand and dough will come right out. Flour cutter before cutting next cookie and repeat process.  

Bake in a 350º oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool thoroughly before decorating.

***Decorations to be added before baking are Snowman eyes and Santa eyes, see notes below.***

Decorating Sugars in small bowls each with a separate spoon.
Glue - egg white mixed with a tiny bit of water or corn syrup
Red food coloring with a fine tip brush for Santa's mouth
Paint brushes

The cookies are decorated after baking, with the exception of the Santa's raisin eyes(cut raisin bits in a triangular shape or just cut a raisin in half and flatten it before applying to the raw dough) and the snowman's whole allspice eyes. A crisp firm sugar cookie is required so the baked cookie is tough enough to stand up to handling and won't absorb so much moisture from the frosting that it softens the cookie. Experiment with the thickness of the rolled dough, too thin and they will break during the multi-stage decorating process. Too thick and they will be like bricks!

The frosting I use is just confectioners' sugar and egg white (or use milk if you prefer).
Thicker consistancy for the eye-brows and mustache than the beard area works best.
Apply fresh coconut to the moist frosting for Santa's beard.

I keep the trays of cookies in an oven with the light on to maintain their crispness and to dry them between coats of decoration. Each sugar color should be done, then dried in the oven prior to applying the next color. I use small paint brushes to apply the "glue" ...... do NOT freak out when I tell you that the glue is egg white with a few drops of water beaten in. We've been eating these and feeding them to people for decades and the egg thing has never been a problem, but you can use corn syrup as "glue" if you prefer. Bowls with sugar and a spoon in each, hold the cookie over the bowl and spoon sugar over the area to be covered. Gently tap the back with the cookie face down to knock off excess sugar. You can also use a DRY paintbrush ( small art brushes that are only used for cookies) to brush off any remaining excess sugar crystals.

Kids love to decorate these cookies!  It's a wonderful holiday project that will bring out the artist in even the most jaded of grinches!  These make great hostess gifts, wrapped in Saran wrap and tied with a pretty ribbon they can also be used as decorations on the Christmas tree. If I've missed explaining anything, just post your questions in the comment area and I'll give you more information. 

One of the secrets to these cookies is that the cutters are 3 dimensional and because the dough is pressed into the cutter it is a "molded" cookie with depth and dimension.  Notice Santa's cheeks in the image below.

Grab a glass of milk and help yourself to a few of these, they are delicious!


  1. Oh Wow!!! I'm impressed by your cookie talent..Will have to bookmark these ;)

  2. Oh my, those santa cookies are to cute to eat them. But the recipe sounds yery yummy. I think, if I make them a bit bigger and wrap them into cellophane, the make a nice gift for St. Nicholas Day. Thank you so much for joining my blog party and sharing your wonderful recipe.
    Greetings, Johanna

  3. These are really fun cookie cutters and you've decorated the cookies beautifully too! I have the Williams-Sonoma "message" cookie cutters and I'm looking for a good dough to use, this just might be it:@)

  4. It's always a treat to see these lovely cookies, Candy! I think we're all starting to feel the Christmas spirit.

  5. Wish I was on your cookie gift list. They are so beautiful. I make the cookie press kind and feel I'm getting all

  6. OH MY GOSH!!!! These are the best looking (and I'm sure tasting) cookies I've ever seen!! You are so talented!! I wish these were on a plate on my bar right now!

  7. Hallo,

    your cookies are so nice, Santa Claus is coming, thanks.


  8. Candy - I love your Santas! Do you have any recipes w/out shortening to share? -Angela aka sfchick on "CMG"

  9. Your cookies are gorgeous! I don't have the patience to decorate my cookies. I just slap the icing on them. No details. These are fabulous. La

  10. Wow, these look so pretty I don't know if I could bring myself to eat one! Who am I kidding? I could eat heaps of them! YUM!

    Best wishes,

  11. WOW!!!! I love cutout cookies, and these are just wonderful! Thank you for the link on the spot to buy the cutters.....:) Sandy

  12. Your cookies are beautiful - works of art! Wish I had the patience and talent to make these. Never have had any luck using the cookie cutters.

  13. hi
    your cookies looks very delicious.santa claus is
    coming.....wonderful are a very talented cookie maker!!!!
    have a nice day,
    greetings regina from germany

  14. Thanks so much for stopping by for a cookie!

    These are pretty much all gone now, but I'll have more to share closer to Christmas!

    Angela - I have a shortening-less recipe over on CMG. You have to LOVE walnuts to like these cookies .... they are just like potato chips, you can't just eat one. :-) No sugar cookie recipes in my stash without shortening that I can think of.

    Found it! (on CMG it's the recipe forum, which is a sub-board of Using Our Dishes)

    Walnut Spice Kisses
    Here's a favorite that I'll wait a few days to do ........ it's way too humid today after a couple of rainy days.

    1 egg white
    1 dash salt
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
    1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
    1/8 teaspoon cloves (ground)
    1 cup very finely chopped walnuts
    walnut halves for the top of each cookie

    I usually grind my own spices so I use a tad less of each, prepared ground spices works just as well. I also triple or quadruple the recipe because they go so fast.

    Beat egg white with salt until stiff but not dry. Mix sugar with spices; gradually beat into egg white. Fold in the finely chopped walnuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto well greased baking sheets. Top each with a walnut half. Bake at 250°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until crisp and dry. Remove to wire rack to cool. Store in tightly covered container so they stay crisp and dry!

    Now I'm craving cookies!


  15. The sugar cookie recipe is so tasty- I made some yesterday. Thank you for the recipe :)

  16. Hannah -

    I'm pleased they worked out for you! There are so many variations for a basic sugar cookie recipe and then there are the "crisp" lovers and the "soft" sugar cookie lovers. :-)



Thank you for your lovely comments.

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