Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

So last weekend we decided to make Christmas cookies for the first time in the season. Our December this year has been insane and this Saturday was the first break in the action. I let my kids decide what kind of cookies we should make, either my beloved cookie mold cookies or cut outs. They picked the cutouts so I trialed the recipe below. It was a huge hit! Tasty cookie and very forgiving easy to work with dough. In past years I had been using a recipe without egg because I was afraid that my kids would eat the raw dough but this year they are older and I didn’t bother. These cookies taste so much better as a result!

Anyway, picture the scene, each kid carefully dressed in their Amish made aprons. We took turns adding ingredients to my big stand mixer (which was nice to use because it allowed my hands to remain free but I paid for that with having to stop the stupid thing and scrape down the sides every few minutes). Then we pulled out just my old Christmas cookie cutter set from William-Sonoma. It has, despite its preppy origins, served me very well. It has a nice mix of 12 shapes. Then I rolled out half of the dough on a floured counter and we took turns choosing which shape to cut out. Every cutter got a turn at the dough, Santa and his sled were particularly popular, his reindeer not so much. We only made one of those. Then we rerolled, cut more and baked all of our cookies. I made icing out of powdered sugar, corn syrup and milk. We chose 4 colors, green, blue, red and yellow and I spooned the icing into ziplock bags. Then the kids got to pipe it out into the cooled cookies. Seriously cute to watch. I tied my daughter’s hair back half way through just to keep the ends from getting too much icing on them. The highlight was at the very end when the kids asked if they could eat the icing that was left on the parchment paper I had put down on the counter.  (Definitely the best clean up idea I had. I gave each child a parchment paper “mat” to decorate/frost their cookies on. That went a long way towards keeping the frosting contained and off of the floor.) Oh sure, I said not realizing that my daughter would promptly lean over and lick the paper clean. Her brother had the restraint to use his fingers. Their tongues were as brightly and variously colored as the tree lights… We are so totally doing this again next year.

Practical notes about the recipe. One, I have already halved the recipe for you, hence the small egg requested (we get mixed sized eggs at the farmer’s market and I chose a small one from the carton). Roughly one dozen cookies per kid to ice was plenty and we still didn’t manage to eat them all. If you double the recipe just go with one large egg. Two, a  note about chilling the dough. Mine was chilled for about 10 minutes and it still rolled out beautifully. I only rolled out half of the dough at a time and left the other half chilling while I did so. That worked out fine and the cookies held together really well. Technically I think you were supposed to let it chill for an hour but good luck explaining that pause to an overexcited three and five year old.

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c Flour
  •  

    ½ tsp Baking Powder

  •  

    1 Stick Salted Butter

  •  

    ½ c Sugar

  •  

    1 small Egg (if all you have are extra large, beat the egg and try to add roughly half to the mixer or double the recipe)

  •  

    1 tsp Vanilla Extract

  •  

    1 Drop Almond Extract (literally just do one drop or all you will taste is almond)

  •  

    1.5 tsp Milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add extracts, egg and milk. Add baking powder and then gradually add in flour.
  3. Let dough chill, covered while you get out cookie molds and cutters. Flour your work surface well. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and cut into shapes. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake 8-9 minutes (depending on size) or until just lightly brown at the edges. When completely cool use your favorite icing recipe to decorate.

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

 

 

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