Thursday, December 18, 2008

Forecast/Sugar Cookie Baking Tips and Recipe

Since I know many of you are beginning your holiday travel, tonight I am posting the Storm Prediction Center watch/warning map (to the right). Please remember that this is time sensitive, but it gives you an idea of the trouble spots. Also, want to mention that the brownish color in Texas is for wind advisories. The rest are winter weather advisories/watches/warnings.

A bitterly cold day on the way for Friday across the northern tier of states. Some parts of Montana won't break 0 (Fahrenheit)! Meanwhile across the south it will be warm and balmy. Look out for wintry precipitation across the Sierra Nevada and northern Rockies and Wasatch Range of Utah. There will also be some of the same across the Great Lakes states, Ohio Valley and northeast.

Houston is under another Dense Fog Advisory until 8 am Friday. Look for fog again Saturday morning. It will be a muggy day with highs in the 70s. Cold front arrives Saturday night. Sunday and Monday will be cool with highs in the 50s. There should be some showers on and off into Sunday morning and then some storms are possible on Tuesday.

Let's do cookies or galletas, pronounced gah-YET-tahs. I love making and decorating sugar galletas.

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Making some sugar cookies today. The recipe is 2.5 cups of flour, 1.5 cups of confectioner sugar, 1 cup of butter (that's 2 sticks), 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon of salt (if desired), 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Now here is one of the things you need to know. When you mix all of this together (and it is recommended to mix the dry ingredients together first), you will have to mix for a long time with your mixer. You may think something is wrong because it will just look like a bunch of dry ingredients and you may think, oh no, I need to add some liquid or another egg or something wet. Don't do it!!!! Just be patient and keep on mixing (maybe for 10 minutes). Soon the dough starts to ball up in tiny pellets which clump and get bigger and bigger until you have a big glob of dough. Form that into a ball and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (if you have time) just works better when it is cool. When you are ready to roll out the cookies, coat the surface liberally with flour (I work on wax paper), coat your rolling pin (or you can even use a straight sided glass--plastic is safest) with flour, coat your cookie cutters with flour. Press down and lift...if you are lucky the dough will lift with the cutter and you can gently lay it down on the cookie sheet. Keep applying flour to all surfaces as you work. Pick up the unused cookie dough and roll out again and again until you have used it all up. You can apply sprinkles before you bake. Spray the cookies with some cooking spray, sprinkle and press gently. Or you can wait and spray with butter after baking, sprinkle and press gently, or you can apply frosting and add sprinkles/decorations. Cook at 350 for about 7 to 8 minutes. Watch carefully toward the end as you don't want to burn them. Happy Baking!

Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman

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