Each year as the calendar pages flit and flutter into December, I have a wish, a Christmas wish you might say. I yearn for my family to gather and decorate cookies together. A simple wish but one that brings memories, giggles, laughter and sweet thoughts long after the day is done. Guess what? This year my wish came true!
We gathered at our home on a frigid cold Sunday afternoon and the fun began. The youngest is two and he jumped right in along with his brother to make pretzel candy cane cookies. Who knew that a two year old could unwrap candy kisses? Fine motor skill development at its best. The other kids saved the day with their creative, can do spirit. The moms had fun decorating too! All in all it was a win/win experience for everyone!
We slathered the sugar cookies and gingerbread men with sweet frosting. We dipped Oreos® into white almond bark and sprinkled them with glistening red sugar and sprinkles galore. We made peanut butter blossoms, pretzel kiss cookies and each child left with a sleigh made out of candies taped together. In between the fun, we snacked on pizza bites and sipped on sodas. Special treats that are saved for very special days. In my book, it was a magical day and one I shall cherish always.
One trick that made the day run smoothly was the decorator frosting that I made for the cookies. After years of trying decorator frosting after decorator frosting, I think I have reached decorator frosting nirvana. The trick? Adding meringue powder to stabilize the frosting once it is piped makes for decorator’s ease.
It’s not too late to make a batch of cookies and frost to your hearts content with those you love.
From our homes to yours, Merry Christmas!
1/2 cup margarine (I prefer Imperial brand margarine for this recipe)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons half and half or milk
Combine the margarine and shortening in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add the confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder, vanilla extract and one tablespoon of the half and half. Begin by beating on low speed to avoid confectioners’ sugar flying everywhere. As the mixture becomes combined, increase speed, adding additional milk if needed BUT be patient and don’t add the additional milk to quickly. As the mixtures is beating it will incorporate and reach a nice texture for piping. Only add additional liquid if the frosting is too thick to pipe.
This can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for one month.
Makes about 3 cups