Apart from every other day of the year, my favourite time to bake is CHRISTMAS! In general the food is fantastic, and with the exception of birthdays, it’s the only time we can legitimately eat a rather large amount of food without feeling (too) guilty. In my family, for example, there are three straight days of pure food and, of course, the family that comes with it – for better or worse!
Personally, I like to start the Christmas baking near the middle or end of November. By this time of year in Winnipeg, we can use the outdoors like an extra freezer, so I don’t have to worry about filling our own freezer only with baking. Also, I’m in university and by the time December comes, I am neck deep in notes and covered in highlighter ink preparing for exams, so baking falls slightly down the priority list.
I figured I would do a series only for Christmas baking because I love it so much :) Here is the first of, let’s say, 4 cookie recipes that are made every year in my house at Christmastime. I’m not sure I actually know where this one comes from, but it has definitely become one of my favourites over the years.
SOUR CREAM GINGER COOKIES
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 cup sour cream
Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cream butter in bowl of electric mixer. Add sugar and beat well. Beat in molasses. Add egg and combine well. Add dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream – dry in 3 and sour cream in 2 additions. Beat only until smooth. Use a rounded teaspoon and place on greased cookie sheets, or cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 375F for 12-14 minutes. When tops of cookies spring back when pressed gently, they are finished. These cookies don’t spread a lot – they just become a lovely golden brown colour.
1 egg white
approximately 1 cup icing sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
Beat egg white briefly – until foamy. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 2-3 minutes. Mixture should be runny enough to make a nice glaze, but not pourable-runny (if you know what I mean….) I like to taste the icing before icing (no, not only because I love to eat it…) to make sure that it’s sweet enough. I find a lot of icing recipes tend to use a whole whack of icing sugar and these amounts can usually be cut down a bit.
Brush over cookies and let stand until glaze is hard.
Thanks for reading! (Stay tuned for Part II!)