We have made this recipe before as Rainbow Cookies for St. Patrick's Day (and that post has been one of my most popular posts on this blog!) I've been wanting to do a Christmas version of them for a while so this year, we made them again with just red and green dough and made them very Christmas-y!
I took pictures while making them so I could share a step-by-step recipe with you!
3/4 cup softened butter
3 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
red & green gel food colouring
Note: Make sure you set your cream cheese and butter out on the counter ahead of time, so that they won't be hard- I hate when I want to make a recipe and realize I needed soft butter and have to wait for it! We used Gay Lea butter when making this recipe (I'm excited to be a #GayLeaMom starting this month, and will have some more fun recipes coming your way, using their products!). As a Gay Lea Mom, I'm finding out details about Gay Lea that I hadn't known about before- happy to know that they use only pure and preservative-free cream from 100% Canadian milk (which, by the way, is produced by their 1,200 local dairy farmers!)
Add softened butter, cream cheese and sugar to mixer and mix until fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla and mix in until mixture is smooth.
Katrina loved it when we added the vanilla (I took a picture of her smelling it while it mixed- haha!)
Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking powder, and salt). Add them to the other mixture in the mixer and mix until you have soft dough. Divide the dough into two bowls. Add red food colouring to one and green to the other.
The girls wanted to mix the colouring in by hand but that took quite a while and was pretty difficult!
When they had had enough of that, we pulled out the hand mixer and were finished in no time!
Next, we put the dough in bowls and covered with plastic wrap.
You'll put the bowls in the fridge for at least 2 hours (2 is enough, but if you need more time, it's fine to leave it in there)
When you're ready to pull the dough out of the fridge, set your oven to 350 degrees F. This next part is the most fun part! You just need a clean workspace and you can let your kids have fun with the dough as if it's play dough! We all sat at the table together and created things. They needed a little guidance from me (when cookies got too thick or too thin), and we all had a lot of fun!
How to Create a Candy Cane:
1. Roll 2 "snakes"
2. Twist snakes together
3. pinch ends and bend into a candy cane shape
I thought I would make a lot of candy canes, but I found that these striped cookie "bars" were easier to make a lot of, so I made more of them.
How to Create Red & Green Bars:
1. Roll out a bunch of long red & green "snakes" (I did 6-8 "snakes" per "bar")
2. Squish them together well, so that they won't come apart.
3. Cut bars to whatever thickness you like.
4. Squish together any rough edges and make sure it won't fall apart.
(If it doesn't come apart when you pick it up, it should be okay once it's baked)
The girls came up with several other creative ideas as you can see below (including a free-hand reindeer by Talia! :)
Just place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes (depending on how big you made your cookies). Just watch for them to get slightly brown edges, then pull them out.
Let them cool and then store them in a freezer bag in the freezer until you're ready for Christmas cookies! :)
Contest: Gay Lea wants to hear about how you enjoy your shortbread! Just upload a photo on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #GayLeaShortbread and you could win a Kitchenaid stand mixer or a year supply of Gay Lea products! Full rules and regulations can be found here.
You can check out the Gay Lea website for great recipes and more information on their products. They also send out monthly newsletters featuring great tips and coupons!
Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
We originally tried this recipe from here and here.