Baking Therapy

It doesn’t ever feel like Christmas until I start baking cookies. When the baking starts, so does my peace and happiness. The kitchen is always a sanctuary, always a place I feel good and strong no matter what the day brings. My wherewithal for everything starts with the oven.

Every cookie recipe is an homage to someone I love. They are made with love and redolent with memories and smiles as I roll, cut and cook. There’s the peanut butter cookie recipe from Grammy, yellow with age and a note of encouragement in her beautiful careful handwriting. There’s the Polish Cream Cheese cookies that made an appearance when I only had apricots in the pantry and needed a dessert. Mum fell in love with them and I make them every year for her. They’re the hardest because she’s not here to have them with us anymore. But I can still see her face biting into one and it makes me smile.  Hazlenut shortbreads in the shape of a moon are for my brother. Pretty sure my Grandfather would have liked them,too. Strawberry filled thumbprints are for Dad. The ruby red filling from strawberries I picked and made into jam the previous Summer make these extra special and extra personal. A lot of work and perfect for the hardest working man I’ve ever known.

Lastly, there’s the cookie I make for me. Or should I say the dough I make for me because a lot of it ends up in my mouth before it ever sees a baking sheet : ) Butter cookies that are soft and slightly chewy with frosting are my absolute faves. I was super excited when Stonyfield partnered with King Arthur for a holiday post because I love their organic all purpose flour. These cookies are organic perfection and worth the time to make from scratch. Maybe someone you love will inspire a cookie ❤ Happy Baking!

 

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Frosted Butter Cookies

2 Cups of softened unsalted organic butter

1 1/2 Cups organic sugar

4 egg yolks

2 teaspoons of best quality vanilla

4 1/2 Cups of King Arthur organic all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter & sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Sift flour and salt together and beat into butter mixture until well mixed. Roll out cookies and cut with festive cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for about 10 minutes taking care that they don’t brown. Cool cookies completely before icing.

 

 

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Icing

6 Cups sifted confectioners sugar

1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon of Stonyfield Vanilla low fat yogurt

1/4 Cup of honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use a good one!)

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Spread on the surface of a completely cooled cookie. Sprinkle with colored sugar and  holiday sprinkles quickly before icing dries. Let the decorated cookies dry completely before stacking.  I really like the subtle tanginess of the yogurt in this recipe. Enjoy ❤

 

 

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