Each year a few neighbors gather to share in an Annual Cookie Exchange. The event is one of our families favorite traditions as we each set out to make our favorite cookie recipe and then have an excuse to get together and share and swap. We then come home with an assortment of goodies to share with extended family who may be visiting for the holidays for unexpected visitors stopping by baring gifts. (And our intentions are usually to leave a little something for the man the big red suit...but he/she may have already had a few samplings before the big night!)
Here is the recipe for the cookies I will be making this year:
christmas tree forest cookies
makes about 20 large cookies
recipe adapted from elisabeth fülscher's (a swiss legend) cookbook
125 g butter, room temperature
1 pinch salt
80 g sugar
1 organic orange, zest
1 tbsp. orange juice
250 g flour
confectioners' sugar and a little milk for the glaze
green food coloring, colored sugar, sprinkles, edible pearls etc.
cream the butter with a mixer. add sugar and yolks and mix for 10 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy. sieve in the flour, add the orange zest and juice and combine everything until a dough forms. this might be a little hard, as the dough is awfully crumbly. but don't despair! simply press it together again and again. cover with cling film and let cool for at least 1 hour or overnight. roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1 cm thickness and cut out cookies. bake at 160 degrees c / 320 f for about 20 minutes. let cool on a wire rack.
make differently colored glazes, then decorate to your heart's content.