Christmas is almost here! What are your holiday plans? The perfect holiday for me is staying home and baking. I also don't believe in spending a lot of money on gifts just because it is Christmas. I think the best gifts are the ones you put effort into. Some of my dream gifts are... A handmade quilt, a knitted scarf, or a recording of music that somebody worked very hard in order to play well or sing well. Such gifts are more meaningful, I think. :)
This year, for my holidays gifts to friends and family, I have decided to develop a "house cookie." I wanted only one design. The design had to be simple and easy to duplicate for years to come. So this is what I came up with:
Hopefully, when people see a Westie Cookie in the future, they will think of us. I hope you like it. Here is the recipe:
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Sugar Cookie Dough- Shortbread dough
Makes 24 Westie Cookies
2 sticks of unsalted butter (At room temperature)
⅝ cup sugar
2 ½ cup all purpose flour
1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until it has turned pale and creamy (About 2-3 minutes).
2. Add the flour and stir gently using the mixer or by hand. Work in quick, efficient strokes until the flour has completely incorporated.
3. Tip the dough onto plastic wrap and shape it into a disk and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 300 F.
5. Next, lightly flour the working surface and rolling pin. Roll out dough to ½ inch and cut into shapes. (I used a Westie Cookie cutter).
6. Carefully transfer the cut out shape onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a reusable Silpat.
7. Gather all the scraps and re-roll until they are all used up. (Don’t worry about the texture of the cookie, it will be fine).
8. Bake 20-25 minutes until the cookies turn a little brown on the edges. Let them cool completely before icing.
(Outline Consistency) (For the outline of the Westie and for the Black eyes)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon meringue powder
3 tablesppons + 1 teaspoon warm water
Beat 3-4 minutes until incorporated.
Save about 3 tablespoons of the icing above.
(Flood Consistency) (For flooding the body of the Westie and its Scarf)
Take the remaining outline consistency icing and slowing add warm water until it is thinned out. This usually takes an additional 2 tablespoons of water.
Instructions for assembling the cookies:
1) Outline the cookie with the outline consistency white icing. Make sure outline is close to the edge of the cookie but not too close. (Use Wilton Round Tip #1)
2) Wait for it to dry- about 10 minutes.
3) Next, flood the body of the dog with flooding consistency white icing. (Use a squeeze bottle).
|A shape that has been outlined with white outline icing and flooded with flood icing|
4) Wait for it to dry completely. About 3-4 hours.
5) Tint about 1 tablespoon of flood consistency icing with red food coloring until you reach the shade of red desired. (Use Wilton Rounded Tip #1).
6) Draw the scarf with the red icing. Let dry.
7) To complete, use black food marker or tint about 1 teaspoon of outline consistency icing in black and dot the eyes. (Use Wilton Rounded Tip #1).
Recipe Adapted from: Sugarbaker's Cookie Cutter Cookbook
Some final Pointers: The recipe is easy, but here are some tips. When the dough is chilled, it is important to let the dough come completely to room temperature before baking. This is what happens if the dough is too cold.... the surface will appear cracked (On the left). The butter also cannot fully be baked into the flour to give it a nice golden color.
|Dog on the left was baked when the dough was still too cold. Dog on the right is at the right temperature.|
Enjoy your holidays!
1) Piping Bags
2) Siplat Silicone Half Sheet
1) Round Tip Number 1
2) Squeeze Bottles
Westie Cookie Cutter