Peace On Earth

I finally finished my Christmas shopping. Not one who likes to shop under "normal" circumstances, venturing out during the full-swing hustle and bustle of the holiday season makes me just want to hurt someone. I always manage to get the shopping cart with the bent wheel that pulls to the left like a wrecked car and it's always fate that I end up in line behind the "Why the hell can't you pick an item with a price tag on it??" lady. Instead of visions of sugar plums, I'm seeing a crime scene unfold right in the middle of Nordstroms.

Short of coming home and slugging a liter of vodka to calm my nerves, I decided to create my own crime scene with these funny but slightly macabre ABC (Already Been Chewed) gingerbread cookie cutters. Nothing tickles me more than the thought of the look on my friends' faces when they raid the cookie platter and find one of these appendageless men hiding amongst the other goodies.

This sugar cookie recipe is delicious and super easy to work with, but keep in mind the dough needs to be really cold for best results, so roll it out and work in small batches.  Refrigerate again between batches, if necessary.  To color the decorator icing, I find it best to use the Wilton gel colors as opposed to regular food coloring because the colors are more vibrant and just follow the directions on the Wilton meringue powder canister for royal icing (add water to thin it to desired consistency).

Let your slightly deranged imagination run wild when decorating!

Roll-out Sugar Cookies
recipe from Contessa's Kitchen message forum

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Heat oven to 375°F

In large bowl, beat powdered sugar and butter on low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, almond extract and egg. Stir in flour and baking soda. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Divide dough in half. Roll each half ¼ inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired seasonal shapes with 2 to 2 ½ inch cookie cutters. If cookies will not be frosted, sprinkle with sugar. On ungreased cookie sheet, place cutouts 2 inches apart (I use parchment paper). Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Ice when cool, if desired.



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