Start with a good, basic sugar cookie dough and you can create several different delicious and beautiful versions of Christmas cookies. Here are two ideas for pretty holiday cookies, a pretzel and a thumbprint.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the dough
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in another bowl until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until a dough forms.
Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a thin rope, about 1/4 inch in diameter and 6 inches long. Form each rope into a pretzel shape and place 1 inch apart on parchment covered baking sheets. Using a pastry brush, gently brush beaten egg white over the tops of each cookie, then sprinkle with coarse sugar or turbinado sugar. Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes until golden. Cool the pretzels on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen pretzels.
Scoop out heaping teaspoons of dough and form into smooth 1 inch balls. Set on parchment lined cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Indent the balls with your thumb and fill with jam of your choice. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen thumbprints.