Monday, December 1, 2008

Mom's Butter Cookies

If there was ONE cookie that says Christmas, as far as I'm concerned, it's this one. You can have chocolate chips or peanut butter cookies any time of year, but these cookies are clearly meant to be enjoyed during the Christmas season. Now, I know they take a little extra time, but they're seriously not as difficult as you might think. If you don't own a cookie press, or you've never used one, give it a try! They're really inexpensive and widely available. My Mom used to have this really old cookie press which was basically a small canister with a knob on the top. When you turned the knob, the cookie batter would be pressed through whatever design plate you had chosen and the cookie shape would be formed out of the bottom onto the cookie sheet. Then the big buzz was all about the Super Shooter, which is basically an electric version of the old stand by. The one I use now is sort of similar to a caulking gun. It's not electric, but it's easier to use than the Super Shooter, I think. You pull back the plunger thingy, fill up the canister with cookie dough, then you pull the trigger. It clicks the plunger forward, pressing out exactly one perfect little cookie. How awesome is that? Then when the canister is empty, you just fill it up again and repeat with as many different designs as you like.
They make the tray of cookies look festive, they don't spread out while they're baking so you can bake LOTS of them on one sheet, they only take 6 minutes in the oven, and one batch makes 6 dozen (instead of 3, as with most other cookie recipes). Oh, and did I mention how tasty they are? Better make extra because they'll go quickly! Have fun!

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 sticks butter
3 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and flour gradually. Chill for a little while. Place in a cookie press. Press cookies into desired shapes onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake cookies at 400 degrees for about 6 minutes. Makes 6 dozen.

For a tasty variation, add a tsp of almond extract!
If you'd like to add colored sugar crystals or other decorations, just sprinkle them onto the cookies before you bake them.


Nancy Cecilio said...

Hi Joey! Just made these... have been on a baking spree this snowy weekend. I made Oreo Balls (have you tasted these?) dipped in milk and white chocolate, pumpkin spice bread mini-loaves (gifts for teachers, neighbors and us (haha,) peanut butter cookies with the hershey kiss in the middle (crappy recipe... will find a new one!) and these butter cookies with the cookie press. Came out lovely! Yum! I burned the bottoms of one tray of trees... man they go fast if you're not careful and check them. I also made the Heath Bar Toffee Cookies, have you heard of these? I have heard people call them "Christmas Crack." Anyway, happy cooking and baking and 'tis the season! :-)

Nancy Cecilio said...

Ooh p.s. I made the cocoa ROLO cookies too! Eric loves these!! While checking out your blog, I noticed you have the same exact recipe I use listed. I also prefer them NOT dipped in nuts!