Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas in my Kitchen and A Delicious Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe

Today is finally cold again, beautiful outside, and I am definitely in the Christmas spirit and full of cheer!  I spent the afternoon in the kitchen making sugar cookies with delicious creamy icing for our son's Christmas party at school tomorrow.  As I was bustling around the kitchen with the sun streaming in and my Christmas music playing I had a cup of afternoon coffee to sip on and I really, really felt the joy of the Lord! 

The mixer whirred with icing and the aroma of warm sugar cookies fresh from the oven wafted around, when it hit me.....

I am baking Christmas cookies in my "dream" kitchen and back in the old stomping grounds of my hometown! 

The kitchen I've always wanted with plenty of cabinets, an island, subway tile backsplash, a well working oven, a French door fridge that I put to good use.

The kitchen with pretty paned windows of panoramic views that soar past our property.

The kitchen my family will make some of their most cherished memories in over the years!

I've always liked my cozy little bitty kitchens (some much smaller than others) but I've dreamed of one big enough to dance around in and share with my family.  

Here at Christmastime I have some of my favorite things--gingerbread, cookies, and even candies--adorning the counters, windows and sitting on the window seals all around.  I don't even have the time right now to snap pictures of nearly everything, but it feels magical!

Here's my "Cozy drink station" on the antique dry sink!  It's one of my favorite spots in the kitchen right now! 

Chai tea, hot chocolate, French press coffee anyone?

Now let me share something special with you.

See that picture below?  It's a very iconic one of my childhood!  It's me as a little bitty girl baking gingerbread boy cookies at my Grandmother's house.  I was proudly holding up a big dough ball while wearing pjs, an apron and my cabbage patch slippers!  At the time we were living out West and that very morning we were going to fly back after spending the holiday here.  My Grandmother ran around to get everything out for me and her to make gingerbread boys together before I left with my parents for the airport... What a memory I hold dear!!!

I've always liked this sweet kitchen tree I put up on the counter every Christmas.  I have some of my favorite ornaments hung on here.  The gingerbread house one is one of the oldest  ornaments I must have bought in our first year of marriage and the copper pot is the newest addition this year from Cracker Barrel.  It's a treat looking for ornaments for this tree, but it looks like in a couple years I'll need to get a bigger tree, because this little one is packed!  :)

As you can tell I'm not a conservative Christmas decorator, especially in the kitchen.  My counters are full (!) but it's cheery and fun to have such whimsical things placed around.  I love it as much as the kids do, but I consider myself a kid at heart. 

Now onto the cookies... Let me tell you about this yummy sugar cookie frosting I'm making!  It's made with butter and cream cheese which lends itself to the best of both worlds of flavor and consistency.  The original recipe calls for vanilla extract, but I added both vanilla and almond because I've always thought the almond flavor in particular is delicious in frosting.  It reminds me of a really good wedding cake!  One of the best parts of this icing is that it comes together quickly and easily!

I just used a bag of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix for the cookies and refrigerated the dough for about 2 hours before rolling it out.  It made the whole process faster, and as a mom of littles that counts for a lot. 

I surprised the kids after they woke up with freshly cooled cookies, frosting and sprinkles to decorate a few cookies for our family.  They were thrilled and had a ball making them over the top full with everything!!  (And of course sneaking in several licks:)  It was really a precious moment and a tradition that I'm passing down from my childhood.

These cookies are scrumptious with a frosty glass of milk and taste better when reading a favorite Christmas book, of course!  Can you tell which cookies the kiddos made?? :)

I just had to pop in and let you in on my little magical moment before it all too quickly passing on to a memory.  I'm all about cherishing the moments that matter!

Happy Baking!!

Creamy Sugar Cookie Icing

1/4 c. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. milk or cream

In a large bowl, mix together the butter and cream cheese until creamed and smooth.  Add the extracts until combined.  Next, put the mixer on low and in intervals add the powdered sugar and milk, ending in the sugar until you get the right consistency.  I wanted mine on the thicker side since I was using it to frost cookies.  Once it's mixed turn up the mixer to med-high and beat it for about a minute to fluff it up! Frost cookies after they are completely cool and let the icing slightly harden before covering cookies or eat them right away!  This will frost about 3 dozen cookies.  Store leftover frosting in a well sealed bag in the fridge for 3 days.

This recipe is one of Santa's favorites!! *wink


Ali Phillips said...

Beautiful and cozy home :) Love all your decorations. It looks so welcoming and festive. Happy holidays to you and your gorgeous family <3

Leslie said...

Thank you so much, Allie! I hope to make very festive home at Christmas to hang out in! I'm glad to stopped by to read, and I hope you and yours have a blessed Christmas this year!! :)

krishna said...

So, beautiful house.. and of course delicious cookies. I bet Santa is going to love those cookies.. I already fell love with the cookies.. :)

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

So fun seeing your festive decorations and lovely home! The frosting sounds so yummy! Hope your new year is off to a great start!

Leslie said...

I'm so glad you stopped by to read! It was fun having the fun whimsical decor all around for Christmas! Hope you have a blessed New Year, as well.

laurie said...

What a fun post to read! Love your cozy kitchen!