You all know I love cookies, so Christmas is the time of year when I can have a little extra fun with them. The thing about cookies is that it is so easy to make them your own, simply by swapping out ingredients, playing with cookie cutters, and getting creative with presentation.
Besides experimenting with new ways to use my own Petite Cookies, I also recently had a chance to try out Foodstirs, a culinary lifestyle brand created by Sarah Michelle Gellar with two friends that delivers baking kits to your home, made with quality natural ingredients. What I really like about these kits especially is that Foodstirs encourages creativity — this is not a "cookie cutter" kit (yes, that pun was totally intended). In fact, putting your own spin on the kit is highly encouraged. I've put together a few ideas for you for how to have some fun with cookies this holiday season — enjoy!
First off, if you've ever had my Petite Cookies (you can find them here), then you already know that they are little bite-sized shortbread cookies, perfect for when you just want a little sweet snack. They're also just the right size for my version of a gingerbread house, which is a great project for a snowy afternoon with the kids. And, because I think Santa gets loaded up on a lot of cookies on Christmas Eve, I like the idea of leaving a petite plate of petite cookies, just in case Santa just wants a bite or two when he arrives.
I also had a little fun using my petite cookies to make a tabletop display for festive holiday gatherings!
Because the Foodstirs cookies offer lots of room for customization, I divided up the dough to try a few different ideas. If you make your own versions, share them on Instagram and tag me @CarlaHall, as well as @Foodstirs, so I can see your creative twists!
For these cookies, I used a simple round cookie cutter and added some natural lemon extract to the frosting, creating a pretty holly leaf decoration out of cardamom pods and pink peppercorns.
A Christmas tree cookie cutter came with my Foodstirs holiday cookie kit, so I thought I'd give the trees some festive flavor and color by adding some finely ground green tea to half of the cookie dough (you can use matcha green tea powder or grind a teaspoon of green tea in a spice grinder) along with a few drops of the natural green food coloring provided in the kit. The green tea adds a sweet earthy flavor that really complements the tangy yogurt-based frosting that also comes with the kit.
I left the other half of the cookie dough as is, but used some of my own cookie cutters to create snowflakes and stars to go with my trees.
By using a black scarf as a table runner, you can create an edible holiday landscape for a party, making a winter forest scene of trees in different sizes with a starry sky above, with a few snowflakes floating down. A festive centerpiece for a Winter Solstice party!
Serveware provided by Le Creuset.
Finally, a candy cane linzer torte cookie! By using two different sizes of snowflake cookie cutters, it's easy to build these classic sandwich cookies. You can use buttercream frosting or a cream cheese frosting for the filling, mixing it with crushed candy canes, then dust the top cookie, with the small snowflake cutout in the center, with powdered sugar. Honestly, these cookies just scream holiday!
Happy baking — and happy holidays!