By: Abigail Grunden
With Christmas quickly approaching, ‘tis the season for cookies. There are many different forms and flavors that are favored during the holidays. A few examples of common Christmas cookies are sugar cookies and peanut butter blossoms. Eisenhower Family and Consumer Science teacher, Mrs. Criswell, was interviewed by The Squire to share some quick tips and personal preferences with our viewers.
The Squire asked Mrs. Criswell what her favorite cookie is to make. She replied, “My favorite cookie to make is a peanut butter blossom. I love the sweet and salty combination – but they need to be chewy – not crunchy!” The Squire also asked Mrs. Criswell what her favorite cookie to eat is, and she replied, “Well it depends on the day – I love all cookies! If we are talking Christmas cookies – probably the peanut butter blossoms. If we are talking all year, probably a good chewy chocolate chip cookie.” Since Mrs. Criswell is such a fan of peanut butter blossoms, let’s go over a simple recipe so you can enjoy them as well.
Peanut butter blossoms have a decent amount of preparation to making them. First, you combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, and an egg in a large bowl. Next, you stir in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder to the mixture until dough forms. To get the chewy but slight crunchy texture, roll one-inch balls of dough in sugar before baking at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. After baking for eight to ten minutes, wait a minute or two before adding a Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie. Attached below is a link to a recipe with detailed measurements.
In order to make your cookies extra perfect, Mrs. Criswell advised to not overmix the dough when you add dry ingredients like flour, baking soda, or baking powder. She says the dough is much easier to work with if it has not been over stirred. Mrs. Criswell also said to refrigerate your dough if you have the chance. Refrigerating makes the dough easier to work with and helps hydrate the flour, which also makes the cookies taste better.
Since sugar cookies are simple to make and fun to decorate with icing, let’s go over a recipe for those as well. First, mix the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer for about two minutes, or until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for another minute, or until combined. Next, add a mixture of flour, baking powder, and salt to the other ingredients. This gives you a simple sugar cookie dough to work with. Once you have refrigerated your dough for a few hours, roll it out and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, or just shape them into circles. Bake your cut outs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 11- 12 minutes. Attached below is a detailed recipe with measurements and clearer instructions.
Once your cookies are done, let them chill for a few hours before icing. The Squire asked Mrs. Criswell for her icing recipe. She said, “There are soooo many different kinds of icing, but buttercream is my favorite! Buttercream is just a mix of softened butter, powdered sugar, and milk with a touch of vanilla or almond extract. (I am partial to the almond extract!) If you use a similar recipe but melt the butter, you get a thinner icing like you would put on cinnamon rolls.” The buttercream icing would give you a thicker icing to work with, which would be more ideal for decorating cookies. The thin icing could also be used, but the cookies would have to be dipped in the icing and cooled for best results.
Now that our readers know how to make some popular holiday cookies, make some at home and send your results to The Squire on Instagram at ehssquire! We will post your results on our story, or you can share them on your own page and use #ehssquire in your caption. The Squire thanks Mrs. Criswell for answering some questions and giving quick tips on holiday cookies! Check out our W-IKE news show from Friday, December 16, for some more holiday baking ideas.