christmas cookie mania

i don’t know why i go to such baking lengths for christmas. i don’t have children (erik and alex don’t count, i’m told) and we can’t possibly eat all these on our own. and i already did all the baking that i sent/gave to people two weeks ago. i have no clue what we’ll do with all the leftovers… I yanked both these recipes off the advertisement pages of a girly mag (like good housekeeping, or one of the ones I subscribe to)… 

Anyway … both these recipes make a lot of cookies …

Peanut Butter Blossoms

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Ingredients:
HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies. (i don’t know about the exact amount, i don’t think it made 4 dozen, but it made a lot).

Cut Out Butter Cookies

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1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine 1 cup butter, sugar and egg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add orange juice and vanilla; mix well. Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

Divide dough into thirds; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (2 to 3 hours).

Heat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 3-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets; sprinkle with decorator sugar. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely.

Dudes, these cook FAST so watch them. I didn’t burn any, but damn near. Otherwise, very good sugar cookie recipe. I used my basic buttercream frosting recipe to frost them. Except my icing colors have dried up so I got pink instead of red. boo to wilton icing colors …

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