This is a guest post by “Snicklebiscut,” my fellow tea drinking and baking loving cousin-in-law (is that what your cousin’s wife is called?!). She is well known in my family for her array of holiday cookies she brings on our Christmas vacations. You never know when you need a peanut butter blossom in the middle of an African Safari, right?
I have always loved the holidays because of the cookies. I love the variety, the way they look arranged on a platter, and everyone can find something they like. I remember making cookies and candies with my mother when I was young and arranging them in decorative tins. After a long hiatus during my college years, I started up the tradition again in my own way. I have a few recipes that I always do; gingerbread, sugar cookies, pumpkin bread. But I like to try new and interesting cookie recipes every year.
This year I found these Raspberry Poinsettia cookies that looked so pretty. I loved the color and the shape, so different than the normal stash I generally make. Because of my crazy holiday schedule, I decided to start making cookie dough early in the season and freezing it, then baking the cookies at a later time. The dough took well to freezing and thawing. I also made two batches at once, and switched raspberry flavoring for cranberry for the second batch.
Once the dough was thawed, I used a rounded tablespoon to scoop and rolled the dough into balls. Figuring out how to cut them so that they would form the flower petals took a bit of thought, the recipe wasn’t exactly clear. My husband, (Caitlin’s cousin!) and I both made a test cookie and his won. That was the best decision I made; always make a test cookie. At first I used a steak knife to make the cuts, and once the cookies were finished baking, I realized that I should of used a sharp, non serrated knife. After that, they turned out better, but I have to admit that to get the cookies looking like the picture was very difficult. Two out of every nine looked great, the others looked like smushed flowers. I also couldn’t find flat, yellow sprinkles and instead used rounded, pearled balls that kind of disintegrated when baked.
Are you thinking that you shouldn’t make these? Don’t! You should make them, they will probably come out better than mine. As an amateur baker, my goods always taste better than they look. I tend to get impatient and want to finish quickly, you’ll want to take your time with these. They really taste delicious with favors that you don’t normally have on cookie platters. I think you can switch the flavors for other holidays, like Easter, and have a basketful of colorful flower cookies. And if you can master the cuts, they will look beautiful in your holiday collection.
Raspberry Poinsettia Cookies
- ¾ cup butter or margarine, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 box (4-serving size) raspberry-flavored gelatin
- 1 egg
- 2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons yellow candy sprinkles
- In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, gelatin and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. On low speed, beat in flour.
- Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 375°F. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls about 2 inches apart. With sharp knife, make 6 cuts in top of each ball about three-fourths of the way through to make 6 wedges. Spread wedges apart slightly to form flower petals (cookies will separate and flatten as they bake). Sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon yellow candy sprinkles into center of each cookie.
- Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until set and edges begin to brown. Cool 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.