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Sugar Cookies  FROM

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine (at room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
multicolored sugar sprinkles (optional) For icing:
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
assorted food colors.

Nutritional Information
1 cookie:
Calories 54
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 2g
Protein 1g
Carbohydrate 7g
Fiber 0g
Sodium 719mg
Cholesterol 13mg

In the 19th century, sugar cookies were favorites for the holidays and were often lavishly decorated. Frequently, the name of a family member or friend was written in the icing.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
Preparation time: 45 minutes.
Chilling time: 2 hours. Cooking time: 8 minutes.

Step 1:
Onto a piece of waxed paper, sift 2 1/2 cups of the flour, the baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high, cream the butter and sugar until light yellow and fluffy.

Step 2:
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and lemon rind. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture. Divide into three equal pieces, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

Step 3:
Preheat the oven to 350 butter three baking sheets. On a surface lightly floured with about 1/3 of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, roll out 1 piece of dough, 1/4 inch thick, and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.

Step 4:
With a spatula, transfer to the baking sheets, sprinkle with the sugar if you wish, and bake for 8 minutes or just until edge starts to brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough. Decorate as desired using the icing. Store in an airtight container, but do not freeze frosted cookies.

Step 5: Making the Icing
In a small bowl, stir the sugar with the vanilla, then add enough water to make a stiff icing. Divide into small cups and color as you wish. When the cookies are cold, pipe out designs, such as smiling faces, zigzags, bow ties for men and aprons for women. If using different colors of icing, let one color dry before piping the next.


Candied Citrus Peel
Homemade Best Made

3 firm, ripe lemons or oranges
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water

Candied peel is a delicious decoration for desserts and ice cream. It's also wonderful dipped in chocolate to serve with coffee.

Makes about 1 cup.
Total preparation time: 30 minutes

Step 1:
Using a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the fruit, leaving the bitter white pith. Using a sharp knife, cut the peel into strips, according to intended use. If you want to use the candied peel on cakes or tarts, cut it into matchstick strips; if candying to dip in chocolate, cut the peel into larger strips.

Step 2:
Place the strips in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, drain, and refresh under cold running water. Return to the saucepan, add the sugar and 1/2 cup water and cook over moderate heat until the liquid has evaporated and the peel is bright and shiny. Spread peel on a sheet of foil to cool, separating the strips.

Step 3:
Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. The candied peel will keep for up to 6 months


Christmas Chocolate Logs

In France the traditional Christmas cake is a log.


18 sweet biscuits
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
small pot double cream
1 teaspoon icing sugar
knife and fork


1. Put the cream, sugar and cocoa in a basin. Whisk cream until until it is just stiff enough to stand in peaks.
2. Spread the cream on the biscuits. Sandwich them together in a long roll. Use about half the cream.
3. Wrap the roll of biscuits in foil. Put it in the fridge with the rest of the cream.
4. Next day, unwrap the roll, put it on a plate and cover it with the rest of the cream.
5. Drag a fork over the cream to make a 'bark' on the 'log'. Decorate it with icing sugar snow and holly.
6. This cake is rich so serve small slices.


Double Layered Pumpkin Pie

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon milk or half and half
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups thawed cool whip
  • 1 store bought graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 cup cold milk or half and half
  • 1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin
  • 2 packages instant vanilla flavored pudding or pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

    Mix cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread on bottom of crust.

    Pour 1 cup cold milk into bowl. Add pumpkin, pudding mixes and spices. Beat with wire whisk until well mixed. (Mixture will be thick) Spread over cream cheese layer.

    Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Garnish with addtional whipped topping, if desired. Store left over pie in refrigerator. (Makes 8 servings)

  • Make a Ginger Bread House

    cookie baking tips

    Making a gingerbread house can be lots of fun with a little planning. Buy your candy ahead of time, there's a list below of suggested candies to buy. Bake the house at least a day before you intend to decorate it so there is time for it to dry. Once assembled they should last about a month. Bake an extra recipe of gingerbread to make cookies for those that want to munch on your creation. Decorate with a few of the extra candies, the kids will love helping with this.

    Select your house pattern and cut your template. I cut mine out of parchment paper but you can use cardboard. Some magazines have templates and there are some book recommendations at the end of the article and the source of this pattern. Cut your gingerbread pieces out with a sharp knife or pizza cutter on the big pieces.

    1st Day - Bake the house -You can also make the accessories (trees, bushes, wreaths, ect.) if time permits.
    2nd Day - Assemble the house and let dry.  Decorate your house later in the day or an another day.

    Candy and Decorations:
    Starlight Candies
    Candy Canes
    Christmas Hard Candies
    Tootsie Rolls - make a logpile
    Chuckles - Sled seat - use small candy canes for runners and a licorice whip for the rope
    Red and Green Gumdrops
    Cinnamon Candies
    Necco Wafers
    Chocolate nonpareils
    Pretzels - make a good fence
    Large Marshmallows - bushs
    Ice Cream Cones - Trees - use Wilton tip #74 for both trees and bushs
    Cereal for the roof also is cute

    Don't limit yourself to this list, the possibilities are as endless as the candy available where you live.

    To make the house shown I used:
    Roof: 2 1/2 Bags Brach's Arabian Nights Mix (11 oz. each)
    Around the Door and Windows - Tic Tacs - I found red, white and green ones boxed together and it took about 1 1/2 boxes of each
    Chimney: M&M's
    Cinnamon Candies on the outer edges of the roof
    1 package (40) candy canes for the fence
    6 tootsie rolls for the wood pile
    Corners of House: M&M's

    Hard Candies work best, chocolate can be used as long as your house is kept in a cool location.

    Gingerbread Recipe

    5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons powdered ginger
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 cup solid vegetable shortening
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups unsulphured molasses*
    2 eggs, beaten

    Preheat oven 375F. Thoroughly mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Melt shortening in large saucepan. Cool slightly. Add sugar, molasses and eggs; mix well. Add four cups of the dry ingredients and mix again.

    Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make the dough firm.

    Spray the back of your cookie sheets lightly with oil. Roll out about 1/3 of the dough on the BACK of your cookie sheet to 1/4 inch. Position your pattern pieces on top of the dough. With a sharp knife cut around your pattern pieces. Do not place your pieces too close because the dough will spread a little.

    When you get all of your pieces cut our, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes, this helps prevent spreading. To bake the house shown it took 3 cookie sheets, but it will depend on the size of yours. Always roll out your dough on cool cookie sheet. I always bake a gingerbread round piece to put my house on with any leftover dough, for this house it should be about 14 inches round or oblong. (I put a disc under the gingerbread to help stabilize the house and it can be larger as it gets covered with icing.)

    Bake pieces for about 12 minutes, you want your pieces to get hard. They should be starting to brown around the edges. If it gets a little too done, don't worry, just call it character!

    If you're not going to use your gingerbread right away, wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate. Refrigerated dough will keep for a week, but be sure to remove it 3 hours prior to rolling so it softens and is workable.

    *Substitute 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup for molasses to make Blonde Gingerbread.

    Makes 1 Gingerbread House

    Note: On the cookie sheet you will see by the top of the house a side piece really close to the house, that is almost too close, so I wouldn't place the pieces that close if you are new to this. You can trim the pieces if need be after baking.

    Royal Icing - you will need 2 recipes of this depending on what you do

    3 level tablespoons Meringue Powder
    4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
    6 tablespoons water

    Beat all ingredients at low speed for 7-10 minutes (10-12 minutes at high speed for portable mixer) until icing forms peaks. Keep icing covered with a damp cloth when not in use.

    Yields 3 cups of icing.

    Note: Royal icing should have good body and be moderately stiff: It will not create a lasting bond if too runny and soft. For snow, I sometimes add a few drops of Karo Syrup to thin it just a little for a softer look.



    Snow or no snow, your family can whip up a band of these merry marshmallow snowmen to satisfy all their winter wonderland fantasies.

    Cooled cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe)
    White icing
    Large marshmallows
    Waxed paper
    Pretzel sticks
    Decorators' gel
    Orange slice candy
    Junior Mints
    Thin Mints
    Fruit leather
    1. Frost a cooled cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe) with white icing.

    2. Flatten a large marshmallow on waxed paper with the palm of your hand. Cut a second marshmallow in half horizontally, then stack the halves on the first marshmallow to form a torso and head.

    3. Push a thin pretzel stick down through the snowman (this will help him stand up), then set him on the cupcake.

    4. Use decorators' gel to create a mouth, eyes, and buttons, then add pretzel stick arms and a wedge cut from an orange slice candy for a nose.

    5. Accessorize with a candy hat (a Junior Mint secured to a Thin Mint with icing)
    and a fruit leather scarf.
    Red-nosed Reindeer Lollipops With its lollipop head, pipe cleaner antlers, and googly eyes, this treat is part craft project, part holiday sweet. Kids can easily make a whole herd for classmates and teachers.


    Large round lollipop
    Plastic wrap
    Clear and double-sided tapes
    Brown pipe cleaner
    Tiny bell
    Red ribbon
    Self-adhesive googly eyes Red pom-pom

    Unwrap the lollipop and cover it again with plastic wrap. Secure it at the base with clear tape. Bend the pipe cleaner in half around the base of the pop and shape the ends into antlers. Thread the bell onto a 10-inch length of red ribbon and tie it around the reindeer's neck. Stick on the googly eyes and attach the pom-pom nose with double-sided tape.