Buttery and rich, shortbread and sugar cookies are among the most popular of all the holiday cookies of the season. Straightforward and clean, the taste of butter, sugar and vanilla are at the cookies’ core, and I don’t know a cookie-baking family who does not possess a butter cookie recipe that goes back generations.
As we strive to make our homes festive with Christmas trees, lights, wreaths and bows, so do we decorate cookies, with baked rolled out sugar cookies, cut with cookie cutters shaped like angels, snowflakes, bells and stars, being the pristine canvas of choice. Some folks, however, do not enjoy rolling out cookie dough for one reason or another and opt to roll dough into balls instead and simply baking them into uniform round cookies. I have to admit, I do that a lot, mostly because it’s quicker and generates less of a mess. There is a drawback at Christmas, though. What is gained in time and convenience is often lost in a delicious cookie that does not offer many options for decorating, unless, of course, you embellish it with a stamp.
Stamped cookies, with their elaborate designs and sophisticated look, can be as fancy or plain as you desire. Painted, sprinkled with a kaleidoscope of seasonal color or left unadorned to better display their pattern, embossed cookies are as much about art as taste. And, cookie stamps are very easy to use. Easier, in fact, that rolling out dough and cutting it with a cookie cutter.
Nordic Ware makes several cookie stamp designs, with each design boxed with three separate cookie stamps. If you need a gift for a cookie they will love them – and so will you. Check it out at www.nordicware.com.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.