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Friday, December 21, 2012

FROSTED: Decorate Your Tree With Something Sweet...Bake Ornaments That You Can Eat!!

Every year for Christmas it is a tradition for my mother to buy myself, my brothers, and my sister Christmas tree ornaments. They have ranged from ballet shoes to represent dance classes we had taken, sporting equipment for different sports we participated in that year in high school, and Greek letters to represent the sororities we were a part of in college. So now that we are all grown we have a collection of decorations for our own family Christmas trees.

Now every year I enjoy decorating my fiance and I's Christmas tree with ornaments that remind me of my youth. I wonder what this year's ornament is going to be? If only my mom could purchase a tree decoration that would reflect my love for sweets and baking! This got me thinking how fantastic it would be if I could combine my love for desserts and ornaments....into EDIBLE ORNAMENTS!!

So this week, in honor of my mother's ornament tradition, I am sharing with you some recipes for some tasty tree trimmings that will decorate and delight. Hang some of these confections on your tree and have all of your guests squealing with glee.

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie Ornaments
(Recipe provided by Manu's Menu)

(Via She Knows)

  • 2 1/2 cups of butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
 (Image from Betty Crocker)

1.  Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment on low to medium speed.  Mix until well incorporated, but don’t over mix or you will incorporate too much air into the dough (not good if you would like the cookie to hold its shape while baking).

2.  Add the eggs and mix. Add your vanilla to the mixing bowl and stir briefly.

3.  Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and add it to the bowl and mix. The dough will be ready when it clumps around the paddle attachment (don’t overmix or the dough will become tough).

4.   Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of baking paper.  Place it on a cookie sheet and into the fridge for at least 1 hour.

5.  Roll out the dough further if you need to and cut out the cookie shapes.  Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Re-roll the scraps and repeat. Also, you may want to keep your cookies a bit thicker, just to make sure that they don’t break.

6.  Put the cookie dough shapes back into the freezer for 10 minutes to 15 minutes to chill again (or you can keep them in the fridge for longer, depending on how warm it is where you live).  They will then hold their shape better when baked.

7.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 175°C – 350°F for 8 to 12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. Let the cookies cool to room temperature and then decorate them.

Pizzelle Candy Cone Ornaments
(Courtesy of Country Living)

  • 2 egg whites,  room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of confectioners' sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of royal icing or ready-made frosting
  • Decorations such as sprinkles, nonpareils, sanding sugar 

1.  Heat a pizzelle maker. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Sift the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder over the egg whites, and fold to combine. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla.

2.  Make pizzelles according to manufacturer's instructions.

3.  Immediately roll into a cone shape, and let cool. Use a wooden skewer to gently pierce small holes to thread string for hanging. Lightly brush the top edge of the cones with the icing and sprinkle with decorations. Let set and fill the cones with an assortment of your favorite candies.

(Picture by Floating Raindrops)

 Stained Glass Cookie Ornaments
(Via The Comfort of Cooking)

(Image from Annabel Karmel)

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 15 small hard candies for cookie center (I used Jolly Ranchers), crushed

Dough Directions:

1.  Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, cream the butter, gradually adding the sugar. Beat in the egg until evenly mixed, then blend in the vanilla extract and salt.

2.  With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the creamed ingredients, about one third at a time, until evenly blended.

3.  Divide the dough in half. Flatten each portion into a disk and seal in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

 Creating Cookies Directions:

1.  Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover a sturdy baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat the foil with cooking spray. Between 2 sheets of waxed paper lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet.

2.  Cut out the cookies with a large cookie cutter or a round biscuit cutter. Use a lightly floured spatula to transfer the shapes to the baking sheet, leaving about an inch between cookies. Remove the centers of the cookies with a smaller cookie cutter of your desired shape.

3.  Place a pinch of crushed hard candy into the center of each cookie and bake until the cookies start to brown lightly around the edges and the candy is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. To prevent sticking, line your serving plate or tin with waxed paper and place additional waxed paper between layers.

Creating Ornament Directions:

1.  Immediately after removing cookies from oven, gently dot a small hole in the top of each cookie with a toothpick. Gently swirl the toothpick in a circular motion to create a larger hole.

2.  Allow cookies to cool completely, then hook through each hole with a wire ornament hook. Garnish with a ribbon, if desired, and hang.

Nothing could be more sweet than a Christmas tree full of goodies to eat! Imagine how fantastic these baked decorations could look hanging from miniature Christmas tree centerpieces at a holiday bridal shower, as a way to serve those winter desserts to your guests at your Christmas Eve gathering, or as a perfect way for your children to leave cookies out for Santa.

So string up the lights, wrap all of the toys, and bake some ornaments for all to eat and enjoy. Have a wonderful weekend and a Merry Christmas!


1 comment:

  1. All great ideas but I'm really loving the pizzelle candy cones!