Our Favorite Christmas Cookie 

Today was the day! Cookie day at the Brouwer house!

Our favorite cookies to make are the roll-out, cut-out, frost, sprinkle, devour kind…. you know the ones.😉

Luckily, I have simple recipe with a quick frost method that makes these little treats champs (not chores). The final product is a soft and chewy, buttery cookie with frosting that hardens so they are not messy to eat and easy to store!

.
Kristy’s Christmas Cut-Out Cookies

Makes 45 frosted cookies

Preheat oven to 400°F

.
Whisk until fluffy:

1 cup butter, very soft (NO SUBSTITUTES)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla 

1 tsp almond extract 

.
In a seperate bowl mix together:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

.
Slowly add dry mix into butter mix and stir until completely combined.  Cover bowl and put in fridge for 2 hours.

Roll out chilled dough on floured countertop, approximately 1/4″ thick and cut desired shapes.

These cookies don’t really rise or spread much, so just roll them to your preferred thickness.

Line a room temperature baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cut-outs 1″ apart on baking sheet.

The baking sheet MUST be cooled back to room temperature before placing any cut-outs. This will ensure cookies remain in the desired shape and stay soft throughout. Also, do not grease your baking sheet or parchment. 

Bake at 400°F for 4 minutes (convection ovens) or 4-5 minutes (standard ovens). Cool cookies completely on wire racks.

Don’t forget to cool your baking sheet on a seperate wire rack too!

.
For the frosting, whisk together:

3 cups confectioner’s sugar, MUST be sifted

6 Tbsp milk

3 Tbsp light corn syrup 

1 tsp almond extract 

.
Seperate frosting into 4 or 5 flat bottomed bowls. Stir in desired food colorings. 

A little goes a long way with this frosting. It should be slightly thinner than honey but should still be sticky and glossy. If your frosting is too stiff, add 1/2 tsp of milk at a time to achieve proper consistency. 

Line countertop with parchment paper and place wire racks on top of paper. 

Lining will protect your counter from frosting run-off that will soon be coming from the post-frosted cookies as they dry.

To frost, simply drop the cookie top-side facedown into the frosting bowl. Quickly pick up the cookie and allow the excess frosting to drip off back into frosting bowl. Place frosted cookie on wire rack and top with sprinkles before icing sets.

Let cookies sit for at least 2 hours to set or you can put them in the fridge to speed up this process.

Eat! Enjoy!

Wednesday: Bye Bye Mickey

Our last day in Florida was spent packing and playing on the awesome playground at the Parc Soleil. Drew reaped in the perks on the flight home. He got upgraded again, toured the cockpit and met the pilots. He was even awarded his own set of wings. The final surprise was when we arrived home to see that Santa had left us three huge presents! Now Christmas is finally complete with Drew’s brand new kitchen, new wagon and the Cars2 wall decals for his “cave” under his big boy bed.

image
image
image
image
image

Tuesday: Magic Kingdom (again!)

Sadly, Tuesday morning we had to drop off Nana at the airport. She had to leave a day early to be able to cross the country back to Arizona. After saying our goodbyes, we went back to Magic Kingdom to hit all the sites we missed on Friday. We rode tons of rides: Peter Pan, Winnie the Poo, Dumbo and the Carosel. We also went to Mickey’s 3D show, danced in the celebration street party and then helped Buzz Lightyear defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg in the Gamma Quadrant. But the highlight of our day was when Drew peed in his first public restroom! Oh, the simple joys of being a parent…… Drew told us that Mickey had “magic toliets” because they flushed on their own! Can you believe it?!? 😉

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Sunday: Hollywood Studios

** Christmas Day **

Santa found us in Florida! Sunday morning began with lots of presents and a huge breakfast. Then it was off to Hollywood Studios to visit Drew’s favorite characters from Disney Junior. We met up with Jake and Manny before enjoying the Disney Junior live show featuring Toodles and the rest of the gang. All that fun made us hungry, so we headed over to our reservations at Hollywood & Vine. We spent the next two hours eating and dancing with all of Drew’s favorite characters. He had an absolute blast and we had tons of fun watching him! We rounded out the afternoon with the Muppets 3D show and pics with The Incredibles, Mater and McQueen. Drew passed out soon after, so the adults decided to head to the Tune-In Lounge for some relaxing fun of their own. That evening Hollywood Studios proved that they know how to celebrate right. They had a huge christmas light show choreographed to music complete with REAL falling snow! So unlike our families in Michigan, we had a beautiful white snowfall christmas day! A perfect ending to a perfectly fun day!

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Friday: Magic Kingdom

** Drew’s 3rd Birthday! **
The morning started with breakfast accompanied with presents, a new mickey mouse shirt and hoodie. Then we started our journey to the park. City Hall gave Drew a birthday button so that everyone from the greeters and street sweepers, all the way to Mr Mouse himself stopped by to say happy birthday! It made Drew feel so special and we are glad to report that he always replied with a very big and VERY loud “thank you”. 🙂 The weather was beautiful and even though we made it the entire day, there was still more we needed to see! That night we had even more presents (the arrival of the coveted LeapPad plus his new favorite pjs and bear from nana and papa) and ice cream cake too. Hilton even sent up their own presents and balloons for Drew. They must know what an awesome spokesperson he is for them 😉

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Thursday: Universal Studios

Our first day out at the parks and we did not even go to Disney. We headed straight for Hogsmeade. I’m very excited for the day when Drew and I can read the whole series together, but until then, he thought “Harry Potter’s Castle” was pretty cool. Then I may have scarred him for life for taking him on the spider-man ride. Seriously, I remembered the ride being lame and not scary at all when I rode it in May. And he was even tall enough to ride so we figured we would take him. But when the first villain spit water on him, it was all over! Screaming, crying and panic for the next 2 full minutes. After that we decided that we spend the rest of the day in Dr Suess land (far, far way from any comic book heros).

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image