Why, hello there! It’s been awhile. Things have been busy around here, and in case you missed it on Instagram, I had a baby! A sweet baby boy, named Jackson Bradley to be exact, aka “Baby Jack”. He was born at the end of October and is just the greatest little guy. He has these big, bold, blue eyes and a head full of dark hair. Middle aged men are jealous of the amount of hair this kid has.
It’s been just over a month now, and we are slowly getting the hang of juggling two kids. There have certainly been challenging moments where everyone is crying and hungry (sometimes, including me!), but overall I’ve found the transition easier than I thought it would be. The tough times are overshadowed by the sweet moments between siblings, like this morning when Avery gave Jack a big hug and said “You’re my best friend!”. Heart. Melted.
I have fond memories or making Christmas cookies every year with my mom, and hope to pass that tradition down to my kids. Growing up I always loved those slice and bake cookies that you could find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. You know the ones I’m talking about! They came in a log and would slice them into circles to reveal a image to correspond to each holiday – candy canes for Christmas, pumpkins for Halloween, etc. We LOVED them growing up, and always begged my mom to buy them when we went grocery shopping.
This is a DIY version of those familiar slice and bake cookies. I decided to feature a Christmas tree in the middle, but you could easily do candy canes, gingerbread men, hearts, or any shape you want. They’re fun to make and can easily be made ahead of time and frozen before slicing. Another that can make the holiday season a little easier is a win win for me.
To make the slice and bake cookies, you’ll start off making a basic sugar cookies recipe. Use your own favorite recipe, or the one I’ve listed below. Divide the dough into thirds and dye 1/3 of the dough bright green, using food coloring. Roll it out to a 1/2 inch thickness, then use a small cookie cutter to cut out your trees.
Stack the trees on top of each other to form a log.
Use the remaining plain dough to cover the trees by rolling the dough into narrow ropes, then place around the trees until they are completely covered.
Gently roll the log into sprinkles, then wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least an hour. Once chilled, remove from the fridge and slice in 1/4 inch slices. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until light brown on the bottom.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Green food coloring
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and set aside. In a seperate bowl, combine the butter and sugar and cream together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract, and mix until well combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until the dough comes together.
- Divide the dough in thirds. Take ⅓ of the dough and use green food coloring to dye the dough green. (I used gel food coloring, and mixed it with my hands.)
- Roll the green dough out to ½ inch thick, the use a small 1 inch tree cookie cutter to cut out your trees. Stack the trees together to form a small log or two. Take the remaining dough and roll in narrow ropes. Place the ropes around the trees so that each side is covered in plain dough. Roll the log gently in sprinkles. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or place in the freezer.
- To bake the cookies, gently slice in the dough into ¼ inch slices. Place on a ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake - the tops will look puffy and the bottoms will be light brown. Let cool and serve immediately, or store in a covered container for up to a week.
Source: Lauren’s Latest