Sugar Cookies

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These cookies come from one of my favorite cookbooks, Betty Crocker’s Christmas Cookbook, that I bought shortly after Mark and I got married in 1985.  These are the only sugar cookies I ever bake.  The dough is very easy to handle (once it is chilled), and I have many happy memories of baking these cookies with our kiddos when they were younger.

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This dough has been cut into; letters to spell out names on birthday cakes, gigantic cookies for kids decorating parties, cookie pops for little league treats, a free-standing sleigh with reindeer, and of course cookies for every holiday.  Easter cookies are especially pretty because of the pastel colored icings, sugars and decorations.

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This dough can be made weeks in advance and frozen until you are ready to use it.  Sometimes it is easier to manage your schedule if you can break down the cookie making process into 2 or 3 shorter bits of time (make the dough one day, roll out and bake the cookies on another day, then decorate the cookies the following day).  Have fun, show off your artistic flair!  I have included the recipe below for the cookie icing.  Enjoy!

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Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker’s Christmas Cookbook

published by Golden Press

Sugar Cookie Ingredients

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

 

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Sugar Cookie Directions

1. Mix powdered sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract.  Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.  At this point you can freeze the dough for future use.  Wrap it in plastic wrap, then put it down in a plastic freezer bag.  To defrost, put the dough (bag and all) in the fridge the night before you want to roll out the cookies.

2. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Divide dough into halves ( the half I’m not working on I put back in the fridge, loosely covered until I’m ready for it so that it stays cold).  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters (if you do not have any cutters, use a glass or clean empty can).  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake until the edges are light brown, about 7 or 8 minutes.  Frost and decorate as desired.

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Poured Cookie Icing

from Wilton

1 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons milk

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1. Place sugar and milk in a bowl. Stir until mixed. It will be very stiff, add more milk if you absolutely have to, but not more than 1 teaspoon.  Add corn syrup.  This icing is stiff, yet pliable.  It dries glossy and hard and looks beautiful on a platter of cookies.  It takes color well (use paste food coloring , not the liquid kind).   Although it does dry hard, you need about 1 day for it to really harden, so plan accordingly.

2. I used a small off-set spatula to frost all the cookies pictured above.  I used colored sugar on the bunny’s ears, edible sugar pearls on the eggs, and royal icing for the flowers on the crosses, carrot tops, and bunny faces.  The recipe for Royal Icing and for all the techniques needed to make flowers and such, please visit Wilton.com.

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