Christmas cookies and other good things

It is Christmas eve day. It is pretty quiet and relaxed around here. No metro to catch, lunches to pack, homework to check or groceries to buy. At least for couple of days. A pause, a break. For my types – I finally have some time to blog (I know this post is a bit late, sorry), clean up and (re) organize around here (in the spirit of my minimalism going on hygge kick), prepare recipes I have been collecting (but had no time to prepare since they require either fancy ingredients or too much time), go for a run with my teenager and hang out with family. Well, also eat too many cookies. Which brings me back to my blog post. Cookies. Christmas or any day cookies to bake. I wanted to share recipes for the two kinds we made this Christmas, so that Santa would not leave our house hungry.

Basic sugar cookies
2 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350F (220C). In a ball whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture until just mixed.
Using (wet) hands, shape the dough into a disk, cover with plastic foil and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
On a floured surface, (and with some flour on the rolling pin), roll out the dough to desired thickness (we usually do pretty thin cookies, so 5mm). Use cookie cutters to make shapes.
Bake the cookies on a lined baking sheet, leaving some room between them, for about 12 minutes. Let them cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before plunging into serious (imperfect and very creative) decoration.
The other type of cookies we made for the first time. Weather you are a peanut butter fan or not, they look amazing (and taste pretty good too).
Peanut butter blossom cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
about 36 Hershey’s kisses milk chocolates (or regular chocolate broken into smaller pieces)
Heat oven to 375F (240C). Beat sugars, peanut butter, butter and egg with a mixer. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls (press hard); roll in additional sugar and arrange for baking on (ungreased) cookie sheets, place about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 minutes or until edges get golden brown. Take the cookies out and immediately press chocolate in the center of each (no worries if they appear to be falling apart, they will harden as they cool off). Cool down on a cooling rack and enjoy!
As I try to resist the cookie temptation (and feel grateful for having a hungry teenager and his little brother around), I wish you a great week and Merry Christmas!


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