I intended to bake sugar cookies with Christmas motif as giveaways for my son's classmates but since it required a lot of work than what I was prepared to do, I decided to make drop/rolled cookies out of the colored sugar that I made myself and the big bags of Mint and Christmas M & M's that I bought for those "just in case" moments. Well I'm glad I bought a lot of them!!
So I searched allrecipes.com for ideas and came up with 3 kinds of cookies, all VERY easy to do:
1. Molasses Sugar cookies rolled in green and red organic sugar. I used organic because the crystals are nicer and more uniform and would show the color more than regular granulated sugar.
I tinted it using Wilton Kelly Green and No Taste Red and mixed it by hand -- really the only way to achieve an even hue! The gel is easy to wash anyway so I wasn't worried about staining my fingers.
The key to these cookies is to roll them generously in the sugar so the color will really stand out. I even went all the way to top it with more sugar and pressing it down in the cookie sheet. They need to be flattened a bit anyway. They turned out really pretty with crackled look too.
2. Next of course are the M & M cookies which was really easy to do and one recipe yielded a lot! I didn't have to double the recipe or anything but I did substitute a few ingredients like margarine for shortening which was what I had on hand. These cookies have a long shelf-life too....perfect for giveaways!
3. And last but not least are the Chocolate Mint/ Mint M & Ms cookies which I had so much fun doing. Half of the dough I rolled in Mint M & M's which were a lot bigger than the regular M & Ms so I had to make a few adjustments after rolling. The other half I did differently by placing Andes Mints on top of each cookie immediately after baking then swirled them with a toothpick after a minute or so then sprinkled with Christmas nonpareils. I had so much fun making these! They look impressive too....looks even better than store-bought cookies LOL.
I wrapped two of each kind in food grade plastic bags and sealed them using an impulse sealer (one of the most practical purchases I made for 2011!) and placed them in Christmas themed containers. Still have no feedback from the kids but I hope they enjoyed eating them as much as I enjoyed making them!