Friday, September 16, 2011

Christmas Tree - Cookie Press Cookies

I know, I know...

It's only mid-September so there is NO reason to even mention Christmas cookies yet.

Except I am so ready for cooler weather!! Yesterday was a lovely 70 degrees and I just couldn't stand it any longer! I had to bake more cookies!

My mother-in-law and I actually talked about this urge to bake when Fall is approaching. Do you experience this? My mom and I do and Brad's mom does. Is it a mom thing or a woman thing?
We thought it might be related to a need to prepare for the winter. To stockpile food for the difficult months ahead. Since I am more interested in baking, I thought maybe it was a maternal need to fatten our kids up so they're ready for the leaner winter months.

Whatever the reason, I wanted to make cookies.

Specifically, CHRISTMAS cookies!

Good thing our church's choir is having a Christmas Musical preview party this Saturday so I don't seem completely loony.

I didn't feel like rolling dough and making frosting so I turned to my trusty Cookie Press (follow the link if you're unfamiliar with these.)

Normally, I use my mom's hand-me-down Betty Crocker recipe, but I thought I'd try the recipe on the box...
It starts with 2 1/2 sticks of butter!!

Somewhere out there, Paula Deen was having a very good day!

After I got my dough all mixed up, I was worried it was too stiff..

See what I mean:

I went ahead and filled my press, though, to see how it went and the texture was PERFECT. Not only that, it stayed the perfect texture through a 2 hour process of pressing, decorating, baking, refilling, pressing, decorating, baking, cooking dinner, eating dinner, pressing, giving up on ornaments and using sprinkles, baking, and so on. I was impressed!

Because I wanted to be all cute and festive, I used large circle-shaped sprinkles as ornaments on the trees.

My cookies wouldn't stick to the pan so I had to break them off {gently} and put them on the pan.
As such, I thought I'd bake a few upside down (see bottom right cookie in the next pic) to see which style turned out the best.

After pulling them from the oven, I decided the right-side-up cookies looked nicer... The one in the center on the left edge is an upside down cookie.

Using the ornament sprinkles was very time consuming so on the last batch I just whipped out the green sugar :) Even those turned out very festive. I loved how the sprinkles settled in the ridges created by the press. Sort of looks like garlands wrapped around each tree.

Normally, when I bake cookies I end up with far fewer than the recipe predicts it will yield.

With my usual sugar cookies I chalk it up to my large cookie cutters. With chocolate chip cookies I assume it's because I like big, cakey cookies.

With this recipe I was supposed to get 7 or 8 dozen cookies ... so around 90, right?

Oh no - I ended up with

144 cookies!

If the cookie press portions the dough for me, how on earth did I manage to make a GROSS of cookies?! Please explain this to me! I was so tired of being on my feet and babysitting the oven after the last pan, that I emptied my press of a small batch of dough and called it a night... So, technically I could have made 13 dozen cookies!!

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