Tuesday, December 6, 2011

First Batch of Christmas Cookies!

(of the season)!!!  Well, sorry to say I'm behind on my post every day until Christmas idea, but this was intended for yesterday...  My two oldest children had their Christmas piano recital last night, and every recital has a cookie reception afterward provided by the parents, so...  once we got them off to school, my youngest and I started the morning making cookies!  I was glad when a friend dropped by later in the day, since these have long been his favorite cookies, so he was able to snatch a couple while they were still fresh!  I think these are called Danish Wedding Cookies, or some such something or other, but we have always called them "dough balls" - they are deliciously rich and soft.  And messy, which only adds to the delight of eating them, especially when dressed in your recital best!  Thankfully, they were for after the stage time!
What recipe isn't delicious that begins with two sticks of butter?!?  To soften the butter, I set the sticks seam side down in the microwave for 12 seconds (but my microwave is very old - this time will vary!), and then turn them over and heat them another 10 seconds.  When we lived in a house with a floor furnace, I used to put the butter on a plate and set it on the furnace to soften, which worked amazingly well.  Until one day when I forgot about the butter, and came downstairs to a house smelling like popcorn, and found about 6 sticks of butter melting down into the furnace!  The smell lasted until we moved.  Ahh, those were the days!

I cream the butter and sugar together a little, and then I just add all the other ingredients, and mix again at the end.  This is not a difficult or complex recipe!  When the dough is finished, it will begin coming away from the sides of the mixing bowl much like bread dough.
We rolled the dough into balls.  And snakes.  And dropped some on the floor while we were at it.  I mean, why not?
The recipe makes about 2 dozen.  I seem to be missing a cookie sheet...  upstairs with Legos on it, no doubt...  Bake these about 10 minutes, until barely done.  They will all still look white, and you will see maybe one or two with the slightest brown color on the top - that is how you know they are done.
After they finish baking, let them set on the tray for a couple of minutes, so they are still warm but not so hot they burn your fingers, and roll them in powdered sugar.  It's a good idea to set your cooling rack on a cookie sheet to catch the sugar mess, but as stated earlier, missing cookie sheet...

Here's the official recipe:  
1 c butter, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 1/4 c white flour
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla

Mix together.  Form into balls about 1 inch in diameter.  Place on cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes.  While still warm, roll in powdered sugar.  Allow to cool completely.

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