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I have to admit that I loves me some Christmas. While I think it should all start after Thanksgiving I do admit to feeling that little sparkle when the weather starts turning cold. I start getting excited about all of the decorations, the baking and the general fun! Here on the farm we get our tree the second weekend of December – we put up a real tree so we can’t keep it up much longer than that.
I look so forward to decorating it; my tree is full of memories. I have Christmas ornaments from 34 holidays with my husband. Every time we went on a trip we bought an ornament to remind us of the locale. Any milestone in our life was marked with a trinket for the tree.
My nieces and nephews have given me many a remembrance as well. I read The Grinch and One Fish, Two Fish to them so many times I had the stories memorized. I think they did too – they gave me the ornaments to say thank you. Every year when I pull them out I’m reminded of those happy times. A Hallmark Ornament is a gift that keeps on giving!
Many of my favorites are Hallmark Ornaments; I’ve been collecting the Mischievous Kitten series since they were first issued. This year will be number seventeen. I like to keep them all together in place on the tree so I can look at them and smile. Those kittens get into all manner of trouble! I can’t wait to get this year’s ornament.
This year I decided to shop early for some new ornaments for my tree. I picked up a couple the last time I was at Walmart. They are in the holiday decorating section separate from the cards. The hubby and I are going to go into the woods to pick out a tree this year – not for us, for the goats – so I thought this would be the perfect addition to our tree:
I have to admit that A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my favorite holiday shows. I thought this Hallmark Ornament was a perfect choice. It also gave me a great idea for cookie baking – and decorating. I really ramp up my baking around the holidays and I make more cookies in the last two months of the year than I make the previous ten.
Classic Sugar Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
For the Royal Icing
3 TBS meringue powder
4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
5 TBS water plus more to thin
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375°
Cream the butter in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer.
Add the sugars and beat for about 4 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and mix on low until just incorporated.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and form into a ball.
Cut the ball in half. Refrigerate the half you are not using.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4″
Cut out cookies with cookie cutters and move them carefully to cookie sheets lined with parchment or silicone mats
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are just starting to brown
Cool on a wire rack.
Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Make the Royal Icing:
Add all ingredients to a stand mixer and beat on low for about 10 minutes
Separate the icing into separate bowls depending on how many colors you will be using.
For the icing you want to “fill” a cookie thin with additional water 1 TBS at at time until it is of a consistency that will spread easily but not run.
Then the fun begins!
You can decorate the cookies any way you would like.
I chose to do a few different designs. I filled some with green icing. I made some look like decorated Christmas trees with a sparkle gel, I used the grass tip on my decorating bag to simulate pine needles and I “drew” on branches. I kept to the one color of icing except for the sparkle gel so that the effect was cohesive.
I was really happy with how they came out. I think they complemented my new Charlie Brown Hallmark Ornament very nicely. I can also tell you they were very tasty cookies. The nutmeg adds just a hint of unexpected flavor.
I was also thinking that a nice plate of cookies and an holiday ornament would make a wonderful gift. I don’t know about you but I love giving homemade gifts. I can think of any number of themes where a Hallmark Ornament and cookies can combine to make a perfect present. With 16 exclusive designs at Walmart including Barbie, Disney and others I’m sure you can personalize any gift you want to give. And don’t forget those amazing Hallmark greeting cards. I never fail to find one with the perfect sentiment for my recipient.
Who doesn’t love cookies?
I can tell you that the plate you see above – they’ve all been eaten. We enjoyed every one of them!
Are you ready to pick up some special ornaments for your tree? Or are you looking for a great gift idea?
What special holiday ornament would make you smile this holiday season?Print
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- For the Royal Icing
- 3 TBS meringue powder
- 4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 5 TBS water plus more to thin
- 1 TBS pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375°
- Cream the butter in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer.
- Add the sugars and beat for about 4 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and mix on low until just incorporated.
- Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and form into a ball.
- Cut the ball in half. Refrigerate the half you are not using.
- Roll the dough out to about 1/4″
- Cut out cookies with cookie cutters and move them carefully to cookie sheets lined with parchment or silicone mats
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are just starting to brown
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Make the Royal Icing:
- Add all ingredients to a stand mixer and beat on low for about 10 minutes
- Separate the icing into separate bowls depending on how many colors you will be using.
- For the icing you want to “fill” a cookie thin with additional water 1 TBS at at time until it is of a consistency that will spread easily but not run