Christmas Cookie Lollapalooza

CCL

If there’s one thing you gotta love about Christmas time, it’s the joy you get to share with loved ones.

Nah, who am I kidding, it’s the cookies. You love the cookies. It’s ok, don’t be ashamed, you could admit it. Trust me, you will not be judged. I am the last person who will tell you you’re wrong for loving a cookie more than a family member. Truuuuuuuuust me. But that’s a whole other post for a whole other blog. Let’s stick with the cookies, yeah?

I’m gonna be sticking with cookies, along with whatever else I could make because I just got this bad boy!

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See, a few months ago, the wife was making something. And when she was done and cleaning the mixer, something happened.. a mild earthquake, a freak gust of wind caused by a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon, I dunno, I forget.. But the mixer tipped over and landed on my favorite cutting board. You’ve seen my cutting board, I’m sure. It was a nice dark wood, smooth, healed quickly, very photogenic. I used to spend hours waxing that board… Used a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil, because that’s what my board liked. You always have to do what your board likes, guys. Keep it happy. Yeah, I used to leave the wax sitting on it for days so it got nice and coated and it soaked into the wood. Then I’d polish it off like my name was Mr. Miyagi.

Notice all my past tense here. That’s because on this day, because of that crazy earthquake or damn butterfly, my favorite cutting board died.

I know, I’m sorry. I hate to burden you on this joyous holiday with such a saddening story. But the mixer tipped over, and the undying craftsmanship of KitchenAid was just too much for my cutting board to endure.

But! In one last act of heroic bravery, my board mustered up enough strength to also paralyze my mixer! Oh, it was amazing. I was upstairs when it happened, but I knew a clash of titans must have occurred because lightning struck the house and I felt a disturbance in the Force. That’s when I went downstairs and the wife told me about the earthquake with the butterfly or whatever the heck she said when she was waving away the settling dust.

Point is! My board was cracked in half, and my 25+ year old KitchenAid mixer couldn’t shut off. The power button was bent in the on position so the only way to turn it off was to unplug it. On top of that, it sounded the way a car sounds when it’s trying to crank. Like it rotating and creaming butter was becoming too much of a chore for it.

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So0o0o here we are. The wife felt bad and wanted to replace it. We got an amazing sale at Kohl’s! After rebates and Kohl’s Cash the mixer ended up being like $165. Not too shabby for this beast of a thing, lemme tell ya! Maybe I’ll actually put it to good use and get some blog posts going again.

I know, I’ve been really bad with keeping up with posting lately. I’m not really going crazy in the kitchen whipping up something new every week the way I used to. With the 2 year old being a 2 year old, he’s really giving me a run for my money in the house. And if I’m not cleaning up after him, I’m trying to maintain the peace between him and his brother. It could get crazy around here but it’s nothing I’ll ever trade. No, I don’t have time to blog or bake like I used to, but I’ll find time eventually.

I say all that because every year, I always want to go crazy and do like a Christmas Cookie Lollapalooza or something where I post a bunch of different cookie recipes leading up to Christmas. But there never seems to be any time. So that’s what lead me to do this….

See, Wilton was awesome enough to send me the Cookie Pro Ultra II. And even though I remember my mom pumping spritz cookies out like a machine when I was a kid with a similar Wilton cookie press (which she still has!), I, myself, have never used one. And in my planning, I got a little carried away and accidentally tried to make my dreams of Christmas Cookie Lollapalooza come true in one post. But you know what? We’re rolling with it!

So here we go!

ONE cookie press!

ONE recipe!

THREE cookies!

One. Post. Only!

Put your children to bed because things are going to get ca-raaaaaaaaaaaazzzzy!

Spritz Cookies

 

3.5 cups – Flour
1 teaspoon – Baking Powder
1.5 cups – Butter (3 sticks), softened
1 each – Egg
2 tablespoons – Milk

Variant I
2 tablespoons – Peppermint Extract
17 drops – Red, Wilton Color Right System

Vanilla Candy Drizzles Bag, or something similar

Variant II
2 teaspoons – Salted Caramel, Treatology Flavor System
15 drops – Yellow, Wilton Color Right System
4 drops – Blue, Wilton Color Right System

2 cups – Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Candy Melts
Garnish – Turbinado Sugar

Variant III
2 tablespoons – Gingerbread Extract

Galze

1.5 cups – Powdered Sugar
3 tablespoons – Milk
7 drops – Yellow, Wilton Color Right System
2 drops – Brown, Wilton Color Right System
1 drop – Red, Wilton Color Right System
8 drops – Warm Cinnamon Graham, Treatology Flavor System

Decorations – Sprinkles, colored sugar, whatever lights your tree

Notes:

  • This is a very simple, very easy to follow recipe… That I successfully made ridiculously complicated.
  • You’re going to need a cookie press of some sort. I recommend the Cookie Pro Ultra II because it’s awesomesauce.
  • I’m also using the Treatology Flavor System as well as the Color Right Performance System.
  • There are 3 very different types of cookies going on here. There WAS going to be 4, a chocolate cookie, but time did not allow it. Also, it would’ve been out of place in the post as it is a totally different recipe, not just a variant.
  • And just to be clear about these 3 different cookies… If you want to make the gingerbread cookie for example, you’ll need to use the first part of the recipe, along with the variant with the gingerbread extract. And if you want to only do the peppermint and salted caramel variants, then you’ll have to do 2 separate recipes – one for the peppermint, one for the salted caramel.
  • I just felt like I had to explain that. If you already knew that then go ahead and bake yourself a cookie, smarty pants.
  • I wanted a red color, a green, and a regular cookie color. The red obviously went to peppermint, and the regular color went to gingerbread. Which means the green color got stuck with salted caramel, which indeed, totally messes with your head.
  • If you do what I did, it’s probably going to make more cookies than you know what to do with. So I hope you have friends. Or a holiday party to cater or something.
  • Seriously. I had so many cookies, I gave a dozen to 3 different neighbors, a dozen to the UPS guy who was at the right place at the right time (boy, was he happy), I sent about 2.5 dozen to some friends in California, and we STILL have enough to last us into the new year. This recipe will easily let you make it rain cookies on all your loved ones.
  • You don’t want to line your cookie sheet with anything. You don’t even want to spray it. The sheet has to be completely naked. When you’re using the cookie press, the cookie dough is meant to stick to the sheet so you could just press, lift, and move on to the next one. If the sheet is lined or greased, it’ll make your hopes and dreams of becoming successful cookie factory machinery blow away like dusting sugar.
  • Speaking of dough, you do not want to chill it like you would normally do cookie dough. If you chill it, it’ll be much harder to squeeze out of the tube when pressing.

Alright so let’s get the conveyor belt goin’.

  • Get the oven turned on to 350. First thing to do is get the dough going.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour and the baking powder and just set it aside. Next, cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until fluffy. Then add the egg, milk, and whatever flavoring and/or coloring variant you’re going with.

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  • Once that’s in and mixed, the flour mixture goes in until incorporated.

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And seriously, that’s it for the dough. It’s done. You see! Doing 3 or 4 different types of cookies at one time doesn’t seem so crazy anymore, does it?! All you have to do is rinse and repeat for however many variants you’re doing. What I did was I made the dough, pressed them out and baked them before I ever started another batch. It worked out pretty well and didn’t feel like a drag since getting through the batch was pretty quick.

So what’s next? Get your press ready!

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If you’re using this one or one similar, it’s pretty straight forward. You have the handle, the tube, and the bottom where you put the disc for the different shapes.

The awesome Beth Somers over at Wilton did this handy video a few years ago in case you’re wondering how to work a cookie press. I suggess checking it out if you’re curious!

  • Easiest way to do it is to pick out your discs, get one ready and screw it on, then take a handful of dough and roll it into a log.

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  • You’re aiming for the same size as the tube that you’re pressing out of. When it’s rolled up, just slide it in. You may have to take some off or whatever but hopefully for the most part it’s an easy fit. Once it’s in there, get the handle part on and screw that in. Next thing you know, you’re ready to start pressing cookies!

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  • Like I mentioned, you want a clean sheet tray with nothing on it. All you have to do is put the press on the tray, pull the handle till you hear the click, and boom, the cookie appears like your press has a tiny Harry Potter in there making cookies.

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And you could set them up right next to each other since they won’t rise much. If your tray is big enough, you could pump out a batch in no time at all.

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  • Speaking of time, when it’s ready, just put the tray in the oven for 10-12 minutes. When they come out, put them on a cooling rack and that be that. Phase I is complete! Now, on to Phase II… Decorating.

There’s no wrong way to do this. These are the way I decorated these cookies. If you want to use something else or a different glaze or a different candy melt, then be my guest. What did I use? Let’s see from easiest to “most difficult”.

For the peppermint cookies –

I used a new product called Candy Drizzles.

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It’s basically cutting out the middle man of putting melted candy melts into a bag to drizzle it. So yeah, it’s complete genius. Just put it in the microwave and follow the directions. Once it’s ready, cut a little opening and drizzle away!

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The only thing I realized is you have to work a little fast. By the time I was done drizzling, the sugar was bouncing off the candy because it had already dried. Granted, I had a bunch of cookies to drizzle, but still. The next batch was done right and I was able to hit the fresh drizzle with red and green sugars.

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For the Salted Caramel cookies –

It’s nice and simple. I just dipped half the cookie in melted Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa candy melts.

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I didn’t want to hide the shape of the Christmas tree cookie, so I dipped the back half. I then sprinkled with turbinado sugar which added a nice hint to the caramel flavor.

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For future reference though, if you’re doing this cookie in particular, be sure to hit it with some sort of sugar or sprinkle before baking. They look rather plain even dipped in chocolate. You could tell I didn’t plan ahead on this one. You live and you learn!

For Gingerbread cookies –

I wanted to utilize the Warm Cinnamon Graham flavor in the Treatology Flavor System here. So best thing to do is make a glaze. Just get all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk it up.

glaze

If you have the Color Right System and want to make a different color, then go nuts. I went with this color because I wanted something different that could still be festive.

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When the glaze is ready, just drop the cookie face down and then lift it up from the dipped side with something. Hold it on the edges and let the excess glaze drip off and then put on a rack to dry.

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But hit it with colored sugars or sprinkles before it does. Don’t be afraid to use cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg either!

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And that’s it! Those are your 3 cookies you could create with one recipe. Very slight altercations that can produce 3 very different types of cookies. Absolutely perfect for Christmas!

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Speaking of Christmas, I hope you have a very merry one. May you find peace and happiness in your life if you haven’t, and may you enjoy and cherish it if you have.

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Until next year, adios!

 

If you’re looking for another idea, check out Marilyn over at Sweets to Impress. She made some awesome looking Dipped Spritz Christmas Cookies! 

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Or this Simple Spritz Christmas Cookie recipe from Karyn at the Pint Sized Baker!

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One Comment:

  1. OMG to all of it, Carlos. You outdid yourself. Thanks so much for the amazing Christmas care package.The cookies taste every bit as good as they look, and are among the best I’ve had all season. Also, I love,love,love the pic with the cookies and big glass of milk.

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