Dealing with the winterblahs? Cookies can help!
Winter is a beautiful season, without a doubt. Depending on where you live, you might see a light dusting (or a massive mountain) of snow outside your window in the morning. If you’re a parent living in a snowy area, you can count on some trips out into the winter wonderland to sled, build snowmen, and, of course, have some intense snowball battles. It’s a great time, without a doubt.
Of course, winter can also be a tough time. Whether it’s dealing with the old devil that is seasonal affective disorder, feeling blue due to shorter days, or simply missing loved ones at a time when they would normally be around, there are plenty of challenges that can come alongside the holiday season.
Winter 2020 has already been a tough one for many. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it all too easy to feel lonely and isolated, even as the holidays approach. It can be a challenge to stay connected when social distancing is so important in order to keep yourself and others safe and healthy.
Fortunately, there are some simple, easy ways to give yourself a little boost when you’re dealing with those pesky winter blahs.
One of the best ways to cheer yourself up is practicing some self-care, andthere’s no better way to give yourself some love than by baking a batch of delicious cookies!
To get you through the holiday season in one piece, we’ve got a simple, fun cookie recipe that you can bake and enjoy on your own, or with family. Sharing is optional, but, of course, recommended. Dessert is always better when shared, after all! At least, that’s what the nuns would tell you.
Baking The Perfect Sugar Cookies To Decorate
Decorating Christmas cookies is always a peaceful, fun holiday activity. Whether you are by yourself or joined by your family, spending a quiet afternoon or evening making dough, cutting it into festive shapes, and creating little edible masterpieces is an awesome time for all ages to enjoy. Plus, you end up with a batch of delicious cookies to enjoy and share!
Because everyone has varying levels of culinary skill, we opted to keep our Christmas cookie recipe nice and simple. Even if you only have minimal experience in the kitchen and your comfort level with an oven is low, you can still keep to this recipe with ease!
Cookies don’t need to be complicated to turn out great, and that’s a rule that we live by here at Nunbelievable. Our cookies are all made with just a few wholesome ingredients that you can feel great about eating, so we wanted to give you a Christmas cookie recipe that you can feel great about, too!
Great cookies start with great flour. However, that flour doesn’t need to be wheat-based! If you are gluten-intolerant, or if you just prefer wheat-free flours, you can still bake some Nunbelievably good cookies. We make our gluten-free cookies with rice flour, and we’re big fans of this wheat-free option as an alternative to traditional flour.
Once you’ve selected your flour, you’ll need to portion out a cup for a dozen cookies. Our recipe is no-chill – most Christmas cookie dough needs to spend a few hours in the fridge before it is ready to use – so you’ll be using a bit of extra flour to make your dough easier to spread and cut.
For these cookies, you’ll need to preheat the oven to 400 degrees. You can get the oven ready right at the beginning of your prep time. That way it will be heated up by the time your cookies are reading to bake.
While the oven is heating up, combine your cup of your flour of choice with ¼ teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Keep this mixture of flour, salt and baking powder in its own bowl, separate from all other ingredients for now – you’ll mix it with other ingredients to make your dough in a bit.
Next, in a separate bowl, combine ⅓ cup sugar, ⅓ cup butter, and 1 egg yolk until you have created a well-whipped mixture.You can also add a touch of vanilla extract, but that’s optional!
Once this second mixture is created, add half of your flour mixture to the butter, sugar and yolk combination, stirring it in to create your dough.Once you have stirred the first half of the flour in, add the second, creating a dough with a thick, even consistency.
If you want, you can still chill your cookie dough before portioning it to make it easier to work with. However, this recipe should give you dough that is pliable and not too runny without being chilled. After you’ve created your dough, it’s time to portion it out into individual cookies!
A batch of one dozen cookies can easily fit on one large baking sheet.Cover your sheet with parchment paper, or grease it thoroughly with crisco or butter – whichever method you prefer. Next, take some of your flour and spread it over a cutting board or other smooth, dry surface. Flouring your surface will make it easy to cut cookies. Using some festively-shaped cookie cutters, use your dough to make 12 cookies in whatever shapes you prefer. Set your cut shapes on your baking sheet, and, once the oven is heating up, it’s time to bake!
Your cookies should only need under ten minutes in the oven before they are ready to pull out and decorate. However, the bake time on your cookies will depend on their thickness. Keep an eye on your cookies while they are in the oven, and pull them out whenever you start to see the edges getting brown. Better to pull your cookies out of the oven too soon rather than too late! Underdone cookies can always go back in the oven. Sadly, burnt Christmas cookies are forever doomed to be burnt.
Once the cookies are done baking, it’s time to decorate!This part of the process goes perfectly with a favorite Christmas movie or a playlist featuring some holiday classics.Remember, the goal here is self-care time, so do whatever makes you feel happy, content and at home.
We recommend using store-bought frosting and decorations for your Christmas cookies. Making frosting at home is a challenge, and using store-bought frosting makes this recipe much more user-friendly and less ingredient-heavy. Store-bought frosting will serve your Christmas cookies just fine.
You can use creative combinations of colors and decorations to make each of your cookies distinct from the others. Combining frosting in different colors with a smattering of multicolored sprinkles can often turn your cookies into a sort of edible Jackson Pollock painting, but it also occasionally creates a delicious masterpiece!
Either way, you’re bound to have a great time, and that’s what matters most.
Decorating Cookies with Friends and Family – In Person or From Afar
Even with social distancing making it tough to see many loved ones this holiday season, there are still some creative ways to include the people you love in your cookie decorating escapades. Thanks to Facetime, Zoom, Skype and other video call apps, you can have a cookie-decorating party with friends and family members who are miles away.
Don’t let COVID get in the way of your ability to enjoy holiday festivities – instead, stay safe and healthy by enjoying the company of the people you love digitally this Christmas!
If you are fortunate enough to live with family, spend as much time with them as possible, and get them in on the fun when you start baking and decorating cookies. Even if you have to drag your family into the kitchen to get them baking with you, it’s worth it!
Not a baker? We’ve got you covered.
If you’re not the biggest fan of baking cookies, no worries – we’ve got you covered. With four delicious cookie varieties – chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter and gluten-free double chocolate, we’ve got everything you need to satisfy your sweet tooth and brighten up those gloomy winter days.
Sitting down with a blanket, a book, a cup of tea or coffee from your favorite mug and a Nunbelievable cookie makes for the perfect winter evening.
In addition to getting you your cookie fix, Nunbelievable is on a mission to spread kindness and love this holiday season by fighting hunger across the United States.For every cookie you purchase from us, either for yourself or as a gift, we’ll donate one meal to feed the hungry. And, of course, we’re going to keep fighting to end hunger long after the holidays have ended!
If you are dealing with the winter blahs, sharing love and kindness with those in need is one of the best ways to make your heart happy and to make a difference in the lives of others.
Nunbelievable is all about spreading joy all year round, and the holidays are an especially important time where no one should have to go hungry. So, join us in our fight to end hunger by enjoying some Nunbelievable cookies this holiday season!