This past weekend, we went over to Chris' parents' house for dinner and some holiday baking. Last year Noah decorated a gingerbread house with them, but this year we decided to try making her traditional Italian knots that she makes every Christmas. The last time we made them together was back in 2011 before Noah was born. I distinctly remember Chris getting really messy with the dough, while I took photos and read off the instructions. The dough wasn't coming together like it should and that's when we realized I skipped over the part about the 6 eggs... boy did I feel silly! Thankfully I have come a long way since then when it comes to baking!
Since Noah loves to bake with me at home, we thought he would love doing this with his Nonna. We came prepared with his Santa apron and hat and Noah was ready to help with every step of the way. Nonna showed him how to level the flour and Noah cracked up every time she would tap the bottom of the measuring cup to get the last bit of flour out. And since daddy was involved, you can be sure there was lots of silliness going on throughout. It's always a pleasure to watch Chris and Noah bake together since it usually only happens around Christmas.
Noah had fun until the very end when he found out that we wouldn't be using cookie cutters on this dough. He had his heart set on making gingerbread man cookies and was rather upset when all we were doing was making log and pretzel shapes. Chris was able to brighten his mood by making his name with the last of the dough. Even so, we still made a pit stop at the grocery store on the way home to get some store bought gingerbread cookies to make Noah happy ;)
And in case you'd like to make your own Italian Knots, here's the recipe from my mother-in-law...
1/2 lb margarine
1/2 cup sugar
6 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups of flour (will most likely add more depending on how moist your dough is)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Add 2 cups of flour to a large bowl. Make a well and add margarine, sugar, baking powder, eggs, and vanilla. Keep mixing.
Add remaining flour, a little at a time, until mixture feels semi-moist. You may need to add an additional cup of flour to get the right moistness.
Form the dough into small logs and pretzel shapes and place on cookie sheet.
Bake until they the bottoms are lightly brown, about 10 minutes.
For the icing:
Add a small amount of milk into a bowl. Add confectionary sugar and stir until thick.
Add 1/2 drop of red food coloring for the pink icing.
Dip cookie into icing, letting the excess drip off.
Place cookies on a cooling rack to dry.
While we didn't stay to ice the cookies, my mother in law sent us a photo of the finished product :)
Have you started your Christmas baking yet? What cookies do you make every year?