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The Frazzled Mom’s Guide to Christmas Cookies

I’m so not a crafty-homemakery-June Cleaver-type blogger. I’ll leave that to Randi, whom I have known since 1995. Even as a newlywed, she was brilliant. You’ll love her homemade creative brilliance. Me? You can depend on me for the snark and the frazzle. HOWEVER, in the spirit of Christmas glee, I’m reposting this one from 2009. This is one of my most inspired shortcuts to memory making ever. Enjoy.

PS: Come back tomorrow for a easier path to this small piece of slap-yo-mama deliciousness.


The As-Close-To-Perfect-As-You’re-Gonna-Get
Cutout Christmas Cookies

I’ve waited all year for this post.

I can’t wait to share it with you.

It’s so amazing.

(I really like that word. I use it too much.)

It’s all about Christmas cookies. Of the cut-out variety.

I vaguely remember attempting these cookies with my mom when I was growing up. Several years ago, I tried them again. Every time, they were a mess.

Every recipe for rolled sugar cookie cutouts that I read instructs me to roll out the dough, cut the shape, then transfer the shape to the cookie sheet.

My gingerbread men ended up looking a little more like Shrek than I’d like, and my Christmas trees would look like a distorted something-or-other that closely resembled a Christmas tree, but not quite.

Whose bright idea was it to scrape up gooey raw cookie dough with a spatula and expect it to hold its form?

Hence, my amazing, brilliant idea.

Cut the cookies on the cookie sheet.

I’ll explain…

First roll out a small piece of dough onto your cookie sheet with a small rolling pin. I like the Baker’s Roller from The Pampered Chef because it’s all ergonomic and dishwasher-safe. I’m all for anything I don’t have to hand-wash. In any case, a small rolling pin will come in handy as you progress through this process so you don’t squish your already-cut cookies.

Next, place the cookie cutter onto the dough. Duh.
Then (this is a little bit important), remove the scraps of dough – but leave the cookie cutter in place. This way, the cookie holds its shape a little better.
Remove the cookie cutter. (I’m truly not trying to patronize.)
Repeat. And bake.…and decorate! This is the best part. We have a tradition in our house that we started a few years ago. Meghan invites a couple of her friends over for a Cookie Decorating Party, and they have a blast! They decorate my perfect Christmas sugar cookies with all kinds of icing and sprinkles and goop, then eat pizza and watch a Christmas movie. It’s so much fun…but they tend to get a little crazy with the icing:

…and then I send them home so their own mothers can deal with the subsequent sugar high, followed by the sugar crash and coma.

Happy baking!


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