Christmas Baking with my Sister

There are a lot of things I love about Christmas. I love the decorations. I love the sharing of time with loved ones. I even love the all Christmas Music Radio Station, CHFI 98.1. But most of all I love creating new traditions or observing old ones. Every Christmas season I use to make Melamakarona with my Mom. Those are traditional Greek spice cookies. This Christmas season my sister, Efi and I started our own Christmas tradition of making a variety of sugar cookies for all to enjoy. I don’t usually blog about baking because that is not my forte (perhaps that should be on my resolution list). My sister is the baker in the family. Efi can make almost any type of dessert you can imagine or having a craving for. Hands down I love her cheesecakes; baked and unbaked. Lately she has been making our family birthday cakes putting the professionals cake makers to shame. My sister is a Baking Wizard and I’m glad we got a chance to start this family tradition. Not only did we have a nice time baking the cookies but I learnt something new. I learnt how to make a variety of sugar cookies. We started out with our basic sugar cookie.

Basic Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Combine together.

1 egg
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar

2. Beat in the mixer until smooth

3. Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time until crumbly.

4. Using a spatula get all the dough out of the bowl and form into 7 inch logs. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting.

5. After an hour cut the log into 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch disks and place on a lined baking sheet.

6. Bake for 12 – 16 minutes in a 350F preheated oven.

We decorated our Basic Sugar Cookie with melted chocolate and a variety of nuts. We chose chopped pecans, sliced almonds and shredded coconut.

To change it up a bit we made a few batches of Maple Walnut Sugar Cookies. If you love the taste of maple syrup and walnuts this the cookie for you. The maple syrup gave this basic cookie some personality. For this delicious variation to the Basic Sugar Cookie simply
7. Omit 1/2 cup sugar and the vanilla. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
We also made Cherry Pistachio Sugar Cookies for even more variety. For this delightful little cookie just add 1/2 cup each dried cranberries and chopped pistachios. Mix them into the dry ingredients before adding into the dough.
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