Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Baking with Limited Time

As you can probably tell from my previous posts, I enjoy baking from scratch a lot. The problem with baking from scratch, however, is that it takes a good deal of time; something not everyone can spare during the holidays. I have been a huge fan of Pillsbury holiday ready-to-bake sugar cookies that come with Santa, reindeer, and jolly snowmen on them. They're the only sugar cookies I like. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find them this year. So I decided to try some Nestle holiday ones that looked like they might be similar.


If you're familiar with the Pillsbury cookies, you can tell these are a little different. The Pillsbury ones are round, and these are cut out. Also, the designs on these cookies are a good deal more elaborate. When I opened the package, I was a little surprised to see two layers of cookies (pleasantly so) and that the cookies, while cut, were still in the square of dough.

If you are choosing to bake these cookies (instructions on the back), I highly recommend keeping the dough cold beforehand. Don't set them out and let the dough get soft because it will stretch the design and make it harder to separate the dough you want from the excess. And there is a good deal of excess. I was tempted to combine all of the excess dough and use it to create more cookies because I hated the idea of wasting it, but I decided that wasting it was better than tempting my dad who needs to watch his cholesterol intake.

I spent a good deal of time trying to get off any of the dough that didn't fit into the cut-out design on the first layer I baked, but it turns out that didn't matter because the cookies expand a bit anyways. So if you're pressed for time, I wouldn't bother with it.

These cookies do taste really similar to the Pillsbury holiday sugar cookies. I was pretty satisfied with that. These cookies, however, are slightly crunchier because they're thinner. I prefer softer cookies, so that was a bit of a drawback, but they're pretty good overall. And they aren't very heavy cookies either. So if you don't have time for baking some more holiday cookies for Santa from scratch after all that baking for family, friends, and others, then I recommend leaving out a few of these instead!

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