Last Friday started out like any other day a week and a half before Christmas at Sandy Hook Elementary School – Christmas pageant preparations – final touches on Christmas wish lists to Santa. But it soon turned into a nightmare, a day that changed a community and the lives of 26 families forever, when 6 heroic faculty members and 20 innocent first graders lost their lives to an unspeakable tragedy.
Our hearts are heavy with a wide range of emotions being felt, not just here in New England, but all over the world. That feeling of relief that it didn’t happen in our town, to our family or friends, that we can still hold our loved ones close to us, knowing that they’re safe, contrasts with the feeling of guilt that it wasn’t us who it happened to – that we still can hug and kiss our loved ones whenever we want, and that there are 26 families out there that will never have the chance to do that again. The world can be a scary and confusing place sometimes, and in my 30 years on this planet, this is one of those times where I can’t seem to wrap my head around what has happened to these people, and why – why?
I know that no matter how many tears are shed, and screams of anger and frustration are uttered, it won’t change that they’re gone. But we can honor their memories in so many ways – and that is what these angel cookies are – 26 angel cookies for those 26 angels who were taken from us too soon.
Angel Sugar Cookies
*Adapted from Land O’ Lakes & Peppermint Plum
*this is actually halved from the original recipe and strangely enough, made just about 26 angel cookies. I think it would yield about 2 & 1/2 dozen medium sized sugar cookies though.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted utter
1 cup sugar
1.5 teaspoons. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 & 3/4 cups flour
Wilton© White Chocolate melting discs
Flipz© White Chocolate Covered Pretzels (2 bags)
Mini Chocolate Chips
Twizzler Pull & Peel Licorice
*Decorating these is obviously your choice! I kept it simple, but you could use different color frosting, sprinkles, get creative!
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) In mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and then the sour cream.
3) In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the salt, baking soda, and flour, and add to the butter/sugar/egg/sour cream mixture.
3) Roll out on a WELL floured surface to about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. (this dough is pretty sticky and tough to handle, so make sure you have lots of flour!) These are meant to be nice and thick and chewy so make sure to not roll the dough too thin.
4) First, cut out small circles for the angel heads with either a cookie cutter or you could even use a shot glass as your ‘cutter’ – about the diameter of a tablespoon (that’s what I did). Carefully transfer with a spatula onto one cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Next, with the rest of the dough, cut out the angel bodies. I actually used a gingerbread girl cutter that I had and just cut the arms off. You could also just eye ball a triangle with a knife.
5) Bake these for only about 7-8 minutes. They may still look undone, but that is what will make them chewy and soft, not overcooking them. After 8 minutes, let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, and then remove them to a wire rack.
6) While the cookies are cooling, you can melt your candy melts in a double boiler. Once the heads have cooled, you can ‘put their faces on’. Dip the tops of the heads in chocolate and then in the sprinkles to make the ‘hair’. Then, I used two mini chocolate chips for the eyes and a small piece of string licorice for the mouth (I used the pull & peel kind, since that’s a bit more pliable than the regular string licorice). Simply dab a small amount of the white chocolate onto the face and then place the eyes and mouth on top. Hold in place for about 30 seconds until the chocolate dries. Get creative with these faces! There’s so many fun things you can do!
7) To assemble the angel bodies, take 2 White Flipz, dip them in the melted chocolate, and then flip the angel body over and adhere them to the back of the cookie, holding for a few seconds to let them stick. This will form the wings. Then, dip the bottoms of each cookie in the melted chocolate and dip in sprinkles. If you have left over chocolate like I did, you can drizzle it over the angel bodies to add some zing. Get creative with this too!
8) Once you have your bodies and heads ready, take the remaining chocolate and smear a dab of it onto the back of the angel head, and then stick it on to the body. Hold it there with your finger to hold in place until it sticks. And there you will have your angels
Couple Tips for these:
1) I personally thought it was easier to prepare the heads and bodies separately and then stick them together, but you could also put the head on top of the body and bake them together as one cookie, vs. having to assemble them later. Might save you some time.
2) For the mouths, I used the Licorice, however, I would recommend just getting one of those mini tubes of red or pink frosting for the mouth of each angel. Trying to get the licorice to stick was somewhat of a trying process, so I think the frosting would be a lot simpler and look just as cute!
While these were time consuming and a bit of a process, even on a Monday night after a full day of work, I didn’t mind it. It was almost theraputic in a way, watching each little angel come to life. This really is a fantastic sugar cookie recipe though, for any cookie decorating you’re planning to do with the kids. And with these angels, you can really let them get creative with different frosting/sprinkles/hair color/etc. I decided not to add Halos onto these angels, but you could certainly do that as well.
They certainly weren’t the most perfect looking angels in the world – they were different shapes and sizes – some of their eyes were closer together than others – but the same can be said about all the boys and girls that lost their life on Friday – they were all different shapes and sizes with their own personalities and smiles, and as angels, they’ll be just the same