Cooking with 'Hope'

Nonna’s Holiday Sugar Cookies

Thank you for submitting your holiday recipes! For a fifth year, the Topsail Advertiser and its cooking columnist, Hope Cusick, collected your recipes for holiday cookies, nuts, candies and all kinds of other goodies.

Carrie Bryan
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

A delicious was to say “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays” is by sharing your favorite cookie recipes with family and friends. Your special family tradition cookie recipe is the highlight of the holidays for your family and friends. Here are some suggestions to help make that cookie special.

To obtain the best flavor from these homemade treats use the best quality products that your budget can afford. Butter will definitely give more flavor to a cookie rather than margarine. When the recipe calls for softened butter, don’t let the butter get too soft or the dough will not hold its shape. In many cases refrigerating the cookie dough overnight will add more flavor and make the dough more pliable. 

The ingredients should be fresh. Buy new, unbleached all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and other spices. If you can’t smell the spice when you open the container then the spice is too old and stale, buy new spices for best flavor. I also like to use large eggs for my recipes.               

Cookie dough may be made days or weeks in advance and frozen before using. Freezing will give a nice texture to the cookie dough. You can form drop cookie dough into balls and freeze. These balls can be baked from the frozen stage, by adding a few minutes to the baking time.

Over-mixing the cookie dough will make the cookies tough and hard. Make sure to follow the recipe exactly as stated. Using parchment paper for the cookie sheets helps to remove cookies easily without breaking off the lightly browned edges. Use a sturdy sheet pan to bake on. Make sure not to let the parchment paper overlap the edges, cut paper to fit the pan, because paper edges may cause a fire in the oven. Put cookie dough on cold cookie sheets so cookies won’t spread and lose their shape.

When using peanut butter for your recipe, spray your tablespoon with cooking spray for easy release onto baking sheets.

When rolling cookies, roll the dough between sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap to prevent sticking or tearing. Place the rolling pin in the center of the dough, and roll outward with soft strokes. Coat hands with cooking spray before handling the dough to prevent it from sticking.


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