Saturday, December 24, 2011

Olivia the Woodland Elf-fairy

Olivia Elf is one of our best cookie bakers.  She mixes and rolls and bakes to perfection.  She has an alarming amount of sprinkles and can create the perfect cookie for Santa and the other elves for any occasion at the North Pole.  The only teeny, tiny problem is that Olivia doesn't really want to be here at the North Pole.

At all.

You see, Olivia is an avid reader and she once read a book about woodland fairies and she just has it in her head that she wants to be a woodland fairy, too.  However it is very hard to be a woodland fairy when there are no woodlands for frolicking about. Olivia tried prancing amongst the potted cocoa bean trees we keep in the garden nursery.  She also tried zipping through the Christmas tree farm at the outer edge of the North Pole.  It just isn't the same for her.

Truthfully, Olivia would make a terrific Woodland Fairy.  Her feet are awfully small for an elf and she has brown hair and lovely hazel eyes.  Perfect for blending in to the woodland setting.  Olivia also dances gracefully and could dart poetically from tree to tree. One tiny....okay, huge problem remains.  Olivia can't fly like the Woodland Fairies can.  So, until she sprouts some wings or finds some alternative means of aerial transportation, Olivia is an elf.  A ground hovering, pointy toed, snowbound elf.  So, to demonstrate her displeasure at being at the North Pole, Olivia is on a strike of sorts.  Olivia only makes sugar cookies in the shapes of trees.  She is hoping that one day we will send her to the Woods and she will find some magical wings and she will join her deciduous friends.    Until then, please enjoy her tree sugar cookies.  We are ready for another shape, so please help yourself to as many as you would care to eat.

Sugar Cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat butter and shortening together.  Add sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add eggs, milk and vanilla: beat well.  Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, mixing until well combined.  Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.  Roll on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut into tree shapes.  Bake at 375 for 8 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool.  Frost.

Butter Frosting

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
8 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
food coloring

Mix all ingredients together except food coloring.  Add more milk if necessary to make a smooth spreading or piping consistency.  Tint with food coloring.  Decorate cookies.