Baking Santa, White Velvet Cut Out Cookies*

8_santa and cookies-med

BAKED FRESH THIS MORNING!

1 cup butter
1 pkg. 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teas. vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tbs water
1/2 teas. lemon juice
currants or cut pieces of raisens
pink/red sprinkles or red/pink food coloring
Garlic Press

♥ Cream butter and cream cheese together. Beat in sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla, then stir in flour; gather dough in a ball and chill overnight. (I just blob all the dough on a piece of plastic wrap with the spatula and close in up in a log, pressing it together through the wrap.
♥ Preheat oven 350 degrees
     —I did 325 to compensate for the thick sculptured beard; Who knows there is always more than one way to do something??
8SantaCookies_Step1-5
♥ Lightly flour your board, your rolling pin and the trim of a juice glass that was lightly wiped first with butter. Roll dough out to 3/16″ thickness
I suggest using small amounts of dough at a time. As soon as you cut just a few shapes, remove them with a thin floured spatula on to the cookie sheet. If you do not do this and the dough begins to get soft, you will have St. Nick ovals and distorted faces.
♥ Gather up dough shapes and make more cookie circle bases until the cookie sheet is fill.

8SantaCookies_Step6-Step 2, Decorating and Forming Santa,
You can do variations on this recipe and I took short cuts this morning. I skipped glazing, although I will make suggestions for glazing in this post.
♥ Whisk up a mixture of egg white with some sprinkles of water in it for ‘glue’ and set it aside.
♥ Give Santa some rosey cheeks! I did this but cutting two holes in a piece of aluminum foil (folding it first in half and cutting my stencil of two half circles). I used this stencil to drop pink sprinkles through on to the surface that I had first wiped with egg white gently with my finger. Alternately you can paint pink or red tinted glaze on after the cookies are baked—or skip this altogether.
♥ Next, form tiny balls of dough and press them in the center of the rosey cheeks for the ‘nose’. To move things along quicker I form a bunch of little balls and drop them in the egg white, transfer to the cookie via a fork and press gently on the base.
♥ Again, gently wipe an area with egg whites to receive the currants and add the ‘eyes’.
8SantaCookies_Step11-♥ Fun Alert: Get your clean garlic press and lightly butter it on all sides and outside of the tool. On your cookie art, with your finger wipe some of the egg white mixture below the nose and cheeks. Drop a piece of dough into your garlic press and gently press the dough through the holes, removing the dough with a sharp knife and placing it on the cookie to form the beard. Note: do not play with the noodles of dough. Quickly take them off with the knife and stick them on the cookie. If you begin to handle them you will loose  the fine strands and detail from the garlic press.
♥ I then wiped the beards very gently with egg white and sprinkled on fine white sugar crystals. You can alternately wait until the cookies are out of the oven an add a thin glaze on top of the beard with or without the sprinkles. I have done the glaze and the lemon makes a good cookie! If you do this hot is will fill in the cracks and make a nice light cover.

Bake the cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the edges are slightly brown. Cool on wire racks, removing from the pans after a minute or so.

GLAZE:
Blend sugar, water and lemon until smooth and spread a thin coat on the beard. If you have not used the sprinkles on the raw cookies you can add some tinted glaze now and have some elves paint in rosey cheeks.

CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP, Enjoy  Your Cookies!

* origin of base recipe: Seventeen magazine in the early 80’s, Kim Valos, 14, Troy, Mich.
Commentaries and adaptions for Santa from, Denise Cotter—author of this blog and owner, Rejoycin’

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