Friday, December 19, 2014

Sweet Treats

We've all been there: You see a cute idea in a magazine or on Facebook or Pinterest and think, "How hard can that be?" And then your version needs a caption to explain what you were attempting.

But, this time, I think the County Line versions turned out pretty cute, though not as perfect as the air-brushed magazine photos.

I needed to make about 3 dozen sugar cookies for a project at school, so I kept my eyes open for something cute, but simple enough that I could replicate it - without a disclaimer. These round cookies decorated to look like Christmas tree ornaments fit the bill.
But I had to do a little revision. Most of the professionally decorated cookies use a hard, smooth glaze. It's pretty and all, but I like my cookies with buttercream icing, tinged with a little almond extract for extra flavor. I'll sacrifice a little smoothness for a tastier product.
I used an unwrapped Reece's Peanut Butter Cup mini for the ornament hanger. (They come in a bag and you can find them in the candy section of your grocery or discount store.) You can also use a wrapped or unwrapped Rolo candy. 

For some, I used the regular-sized holiday M & Ms, but the mini ones were probably cuter, though a little more time consuming to place each one.
Grab some elementary-aged kids, and they could help make them, too. Preschool kids would likely not be able to arrange them in rows, but polka dot ornaments could be cute, too, don't you think?

For the other half of the cookies, I tried to make them look like snowflakes. Back when Jill was in 4-H and we were in charge of 4-H foods and nutrition meetings, we made something similar for one of our Christmas treat gatherings.
I don't know how much they look like snowflakes, but I think people will get the idea. They could also be used for "Frozen" parties (and I happen to know a little girl named Kinley who will be turning 3 soon and celebrating with a Frozen Princess party)! 

I do have a word to the wise, though. I combined white and silver glitter sugars and sprinkled them over the white frosting. Then, when I tried to pipe on the blue frosting to make the snowflake, it wanted to lift off the sugar. So much for trying to add any more intricate detail! This was as good as it got!

Next time, I'll pipe on the snowflakes first, then sprinkle with the glitter sugar. Just to reinforce the idea, I placed some snowflake sprinkles on the blue icing. 
To give as individual treats, carefully put them in plastic treat bags and tie with colored ribbon. I used Wilton shaped party bags, which made it easier to package. However, regular fold-over plastic sandwich bags would work, too.

To make the cookies from scratch, you can use this recipe for No-Roll Sugar Cookies. (For these decorated cookies, you can just roll them in regular sugar, rather than colored, if you'd prefer.)

But, to save time and effort, you could also slice and bake the sugar cookie dough you find in the refrigerator case at the grocery store or purchase plain sugar cookies from the grocery store bakery. 

For the frosting, check out this tried and true one from my kitchen. (And if you only have time for sugar cookie bars, there's a good recipe for those at that link, too!)

Merry Christmas from my kitchen to yours!


  1. Kim,
    Your cookies are super cute! I'm with you, if it's simple I'm in! There is a lot of fun in the creative process, but I'd really like my project to be recognizable when I'm done. And when it doesn't turn out J is good about telling me it tastes better than it looks! lol

    1. Tasting better than it looks could be a theme around here as well! Unless I'm baking for the fair, for a ladies' meeting or a project like this, the good taste is the most important thing anyway!

  2. Love your cookies. They look so Christmassy and sweet. Should be a real hit I reckon.

  3. Mmmmm, those look yummy! And I'm with you, bring on the butter cream frosting! :)

    1. I got a nice surprise from your Mom in the mail yesterday! I sent her a note, but tell her it was fun to explore all the treasures in the box she sent.

  4. Hi Kim! I will let her know! How cool!
    How funny that she got your name drawn. When she told me who she got, I was like, I know her! :)