Eid bits and bobs and amazing sugar cookies!

Eid Mubarak to those who were celebrating or are still celebrating (like moi) this week! Having Eid on a week day ensures two things: a day off from work and loads of parties on the weekends.

Our Eid week celebrations started on Monday night with a chaand raat party at my mom’s home.  A chaand raat party literally means a moon night party- it usually takes place on the 29th night of Ramadan as this is the night that groups of leaders from the Muslim community gather around and try to locate and/or find out if anyone has spotted the moon. If a moon is spotted, the Islamic month of Ramadan will be complete and the next day will be Eid. Our chaand raat party consisted of breaking our fast, eating delicious food, having wonderful conversation, keeping tabs on moon sightings, and of course mehndi/henna application.  A chaand raat party wouldn’t be a chaand raat party without some mehndi!

Our Eid celebrations on Wednesday started off with congregational Eid prayers at a local community spot.  Then we headed home to snack on some sweet treats.  The rest of the day was filled with gift-giving, spending time with family and visitors, visiting family and friends, eating, and the oh-so-important Eid nap!  Round two of Eid celebrations are starting up again and will continue well into the weekend.  Thank goodness it’s a long weekend…we’ll have Monday to recover from all of the food that will have been consumed!

I’m sure some of you will be heading out and visiting people this weekend and since you probably don’t want to go empty-handed, I suggest you try making these sugar cookies. They are soft, not too sweet and very forgiving.  You can use different cookie cutters to cut out the cookies, or roll the dough into a log and cut off cookie coins with a sharp knife.  Do what your heart (and tummy!) desires.

Sugar Cookies

1-½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until well combined. Add in the 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks and mix until combined.  Mix in vanilla and almond extracts.  In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined, making sure not to over-mix the dough.

To make a small quantity of cookies, halve the dough and shape them into discs. Wrap them up with plastic wrap and stick one disc in the fridge and the other in the freezer. Otherwise, put all the dough onto some plastic wrap and form it into a disc before placing in fridge for 2-3 hours.   One hour before baking, turn the oven heat onto 350 degrees.  Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/4-1-8 inch thickness.  Dip a cookie cutter into some flour and begin to cut out cookies. If the dough becomes warm as you work, wrap it up and stick it into the freezer for 15-20 minutes (continue this method if the dough continues to warm up). Place the cookies on parchment-lined, cold cookie sheets and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the cookies have golden edges. Between cookie batches, let cookie sheets cool completely before reusing.
Cool cookies completely on cooling racks before icing.

Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk (use less milk if you want a thicker icing)
1 drop fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp light corn syrup

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.  Using the tinges of a fork, drizzle the icing over cooled cookies.  Let icing set before layering cookies on a tray otherwise the cookies will stick together. (I learned that the hard way!)

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