Reading is cool. Wanna know why?
Because sometimes, reading offers insight about how to do or not do certain things. Like, for instance, when my place of work puts our CLOSED sign up, that generally means we are CLOSED. As in, NOT open. As in, don’t come in and ask for a sandwich ten minutes after we’ve closed on a Saturday when we’re desperately itching to get out and enjoy the weekend. I hate you.
Or when my house clearly has a (homemade) NO SOLICITING sign up in plain sight. That means, don’t ring my doorbell and stand outside my house for 10 minutes in a desperate attempt to ask me to sign some petition or hand me pizza coupons.
Duude, if one thing irks me, it’s solicitors. They are CREEPY.
Before I put up my fancy “we’re antisocial and no, I don’t need a pamphlet” sign up, we got toooons of people soliciting magazines or pest control or just weird things. And it was always SUUUUUPER uncomfortable because I really dislike answering the door PERIOD and never answer when no one else is home (I’ve been scarred by too many crime shows) but I always feel like solicitors like, know we’re ignoring them. So they stand outside for an inordinate amount of time, ring the doorbell no less than four times, and just stand their admiring our Stucco before they finally give up and leave.
But their leaving is not before my series of strategic maneuvering so they don’t catch onto my being-homeness. First, I’ll hear the doorbell or a knock and I’ll freeze in my tracks. I’ll also stop breathing momentarily, as if they have supersonic hearing and can detect human oxygen inhalation.
Second, I’ll (very gently) get under a piece of furniture (table, desk) if I’m nearby, or slowly skulk out of the range of the door as to not risk them somehow detecting my motions within 10 feet of any direction of my front door.
What’s really awkward is when I’m feeling all nice and home-y and have opened the blinds which narrows my escape field significantly. Or, worse, if the TV is on, music is blasting, or random people are darting underneath tables to hide from solicitors and therefore, it’s obvious I don’t want to talk to you.
Really, I should just put up another sign that says “It’s honestly no offense to you or your pest company which I’m sure is a nice company, but I really don’t know if you’re a murderer or not so please leave me alone. Thanks.”
And when they finally leave, I get all super sensitive like they knew they’ve been duped and they’re sitting outside the house somewhere where I can’t see them, watching me and being like “I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE” because apparently, I have it in my head that all solicitors must be murderous stalkers or something.
I think I should be rewarded for my courageous acts of survival while being home alone on my day off. And I don’t know about you, but after escaping murderous magazine salesmen, I want nothing more than cookies. Milk and cookies. The ultimate comfort food, amirite, Santa?!
My mom’s favorite cookie in the world happens to be sugar, so I decided to surprise her with these swirly, twirly, super fun Christmas cookies. They look SO impressive with their bright and festive swirls, but they’re totally simple to make!
I’m using the Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe from Sweet SugarBelle because I’ve found it produces excellent tasting and quality sugar cookies. For someone who is completely sugar-cookie-decorating-impaired, I need a cookie that’s easy and looks great, and these deliver! Plus, there’s no chilling time on the dough, and the dough literally comes together in minutes.
And once I saw Toni’s Swirly Halloween Cookies on Make Bake Celebrate, I wanted to do a festive Christmas version! Aren’t they beautiful and fun!?
2 sticks butter, softened
1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tsp extract (I use a mixture of butter emulsion and vanilla, but you could use almond, too!)
2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
No-Taste Red and Kelly Green Wilton gel food coloring
Christmas sprinkles, if desired
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with silicone liners or mist lightly with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder + salt.
2. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until blended. While it’s blending, crack your egg in a small bowl and beat it gently with your extracts of choice to combine. Add the egg/flavoring mixture and beat to incorporate.
3. Gradually add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. When most of the dough sticks to the paddle of your mixer, it should be ready. Also, SugarBelle says when she gently presses her finger to the dough, it yields rather than sticks.
4. Turn your dough onto a flat, clean work space very lightly dusted with flour. Separate the dough into two even balls and make a nice dent in the middle of each. Take a butter knife and scrape some food coloring out from each bottle, then wipe the coloring into the dough ball dent (one color per ball).
5. Now, here’s the cool trick: start folding the dough in and around the colored dent in the middle. When you work the dough outside—>in, it will decrease the likelihood you’ll get dye on your fingers once you’ve achieved the color you like, you’re ready to make cookies!
6. Take a small Tablespoon-sized ball of dough from each color and press the dough balls together to form one big ball. Gently roll out the two-toned dough ball into a long snake shape. Starting from one end, roll up cinnamon roll-style until you have a swirly cookie. Roll the edges of the cookie in sprinkles, if desired.
7. Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Do not overbake them! Allow to cool on the cookie sheets about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. I’ve found this recipe easily makes two dozen cookies, and they stay quite moist and soft for several days when stored airtight.
I love how stunning these cookies are! They definitely make for a fantastic presentation on any Christmas cookie tray, with their fun swirly shape and their bright, Christmas colors! You can also adapt the colors to fit your liking, such as using blue and yellow for Hanukkah. Easy peasy and definitely delicious.