There are so many amazingly beautiful ideas out there for Christmas cookies. Many focus on cutout cookies, which I’m a big fan of, but they can be very time consuming to frost. If a table is on display, I’ll go all out to make a few beautiful snowflakes, but the cookies I give to my friends and family have to be simple enough to make in big batches.
In a perfect world, I’d be able to produce a batch of something like these, from my hero Martha.
They’re charming and cute, but they require too many variations on royal icing for me to make in mass quantities. Take the partridge in a pear tree, for example. Green outlining and green flood for the tree top, light green flood for the pear, brown outlining and flood for the trunk, somewhere in between for the bark, and then you have to decorate the partridge! They’re so sweet, but I just don’t have the patience. Or the time.
A simple variation that was featured in the Martha 2010 Christmas cookies magazine was to decorate cookies all in one color, let dry, outline, and then sprinkle sanding sugar on the outline. I’ll be doing plenty of those this year. Another easy but adorable cookie would be to frost a mitten in two tones (one for the glove, one for the cuff), and then cover the cuff part in nonpareils or sprinkles.
Springerle cookies offer a mold that you can use with a shortbread dough to produce stunningly beautiful cookies with almost no decorating effort.
Check out House on the Hill for a huge variety of molds. In particular, they have this gorgeous mold for making walnut cookies that I am absolutely obsessed with:
Aren’t they amazing? I just love Springerle molds. My last visual excites me not just because of the concept, but because I have a friend who makes the most delicious ginger molasses cookies you’ll ever taste. Carla Spilak sells her cookies at the Market at the Mill in Williamsville, NY. They’re spicy and sweet and chewy – everything a ginger molasses cookie should be. And imagine stacking them in a jelly jar with a bit of festive twine and a tag:
A simple presentation of a delicious treat that can work for a co-worker’s holiday gift or a winter wedding favor. Wanna pick up a few of the ginger molasses cookies from Carla and package them as if you made them yourself? Her email address is email@example.com. (I’ll never tell a soul.)