Friday, December 21, 2012

This holiday season, I decided to take my cookie baking to a new level.

I had heard about these message-in-a-cookie letter sets and wanted to try them. Luckily, Tchibo in Istanbul has a plastic set on sale for only 17 tl. In Turkish, the cookie set is called Bisküvi Baskı Seti. If you are in the U.S., Williams-Sonoma has a similar set too. These cutters actually allow you to combine holiday greetings inside the cookie itself! What a brilliant idea!

Basically, you cut out the plastic letters, place them in a row (the letters snap together) and stamp away using your favorite cookie or biscuit dough. The only thing you have to remember is to spell your words backwards when you place the letters together so that they print out the correct way on the cookie dough. 

You don’t want to end up saying: SAMTSIRHC YRREM!
I practically squealed with delight as I was stamping away on stars, snowflakes and ornaments. I thought these cookies were some of the cutest things ever especially after I decorated them with royal icing and assorted sprinkles. I even spelled a few words in Turkish!

I’m sure children would love to play with these message-in-a-cookie stamps!
Plus, you’re not only limited to using these for Christmas. I’m already thinking ahead for Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day as well as personalized birthdays, weddings, baby showers, etc.

These holiday cookies would make the perfect gift for friends and family members!

Happy baking and afiyet olsun!
Old-fashioned Sugar Cookies
4          c. (640 g.)        flour, plus more rolling out
1          tsp.                  baking powder
½         tsp.                  salt
8          oz. (226 g.)      butter, room temperature
2          c. (440 g.)        sugar
2          ea.                    large eggs, room temperature
2          tsp.                  vanilla extract

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

In a separate large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients.

Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). To quickly chill dough, I like to divide the dough into small packets, flattened and wrapped in plastic wrap. Refrigerate.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, adding more flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/- inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

(Later you can roll out the scraps once more. Chill again before using)

Preheat oven to 325 F/162 C. Bake cookies about 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown on the edges in preheated oven. Cool completely before icing.
You can also use colored fondant and royal icing to decorate your holiday cookies.
Royal Icing for decorating
60        ml.       egg whites
285      g.         powdered sugar
¼         tsp.      cream of tartar

Using a paddle attachment on a mixer, pour the egg whites into the mixer bowl. Gradually add most of the powdered sugar and the cream of tartar. Mix until it forms a smooth paste, adding all remaining powdered sugar if necessary.

Beat on high speed for a few seconds to get it light and fluffy.

Divide royal icing into small bowls and add food coloring as desired.

Keep a damp towel on top of the icing, when not using, to prevent it from drying out.

** Or a good rule of thumb to remember is:
Add enough powdered sugar to 1 large egg white until the icing reaches the proper consistency with a pinch of cream of tartar, to prevent yellowing. Mix until icing is light and fluffy. This is normally what I do.

Yields about 180 ml (3/4 c.) of icing.

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Unknown said...

How absolutely gorgeous, Joy!! thanks for this happy post! And a very Merry Christmas if I don't 'speak' to you before!

Unknown said...

They look very festive! yummy!!!!

Joy said...

@Claudia, thanks dear! Merry Christmas to you too! I'm sure you'll be busy with your family.

@Esther, thank you! Hope you enjoying trying to make them too.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i just love these cookies. i was wondering where i could get one of those stamp sets. i am off to check out wm sonama right now! we are getting SNOW!!!!

Joy said...

@Joyce, Enjoy the cookies! Looks like you may have a white Christmas too then! :-)

Karen said...

What a fun activity this would be with children. Thanks for sharing.

Kim, Living to Seas the Moment said...

A visit to Williams Sonoma is in my future! Thanks for sharing!

Sue/the view from great island said...

I love these! I have to track them down, the letters are so crisp and clear!

Joy said...

@Karen, Kim and Sue, glad you enjoyed this post! Hopefully, you are able to find similar cutters and make your own message-in-a-cookie. :-)