Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sugar coooookies

This is my favorite Christmas cookie recipe... the one my family expects, even if I were to make no other cookies. (Which will NEVER happen, I'm just trying to make a point, that they HAVE to have these. What I normally do if I'm having the whole family over is something like the photo above. See the little trees / stars/ santa boots? this is the recipe.)

  • 1 1/2 cup room temp UNSALTED butter*

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 cups all purpose flour

Beat the butter & sugar, add the salt, eggs & vanilla, and beat again. Gradually beat in the flour. My mother has always made these with nothing more than a bowl and a wooden spoon, but I think that at least mixing the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer is better. Depending on your mixer's power, you may not be able to use it for all of the flour addition.

Once all of the ingredients are together, you will need to divide the dough into three flat round 1" thick disks (Mine fit well inside of a gallon ziplock bag, but I usually double the recipe and make four disks, so keep that in mind. You want the shape to be pretty close to what you're rolling out so that you don't handle/ warm up the dough too much.... just cut the bag apart when you're ready to roll out the dough)

Refridgerate at least half an hour, until the dough is firm enough to roll but not solid as a brick. Use your favorite cookie cutters (one shape per cookie sheet, so that they all cook evenly) and decorations (I put colored sprinkles or cinnamon and sugar on mine... I am not patient enough to frost each one individually after they're baked.)

I have this marble rolling pan which is great because it's so heavy, (if someone ever breaks into my home while I'm making cookies they WILL be sorry...) and I use that to roll out the dough until it is about 1/4" thick. Use as little flour as possible on your board and your rolling pin.

On an nonstick pan I use a 350* oven for 9 - 10 minutes depending on the size of the cutout. You want the edges golden brown. Cool them on racks so they don't burn.

By the way, when I make a double batch, I plan for 4+ hours of work and about 10 trays worth of cookies. Plus the "ugly scraps" that I get when I gather the leftover pieces and re-chill them a little while. (You don't want to roll this dough over and over because each time you add flour, you make the dough a little tougher. So the scraps become the only cookies my kids are allowed to go after BEFORE Christmas day... they're just straight strips of the rerolled dough, with some sprinkles of whatever, but everybody's happy.)

*Do not use regular butter, and oh please dear lord not margarine of ANY sort. Unsalted butter. Land O'Lakes has it in a blue box. Seriously. Just don't even make these cookies unless you use the type of butter I say to use. My friend didn't, and her husband made her call me because they just didn't taste right. He's lucky to still be able to eat solid foods....

1 comment:

onescrappychick said...

thank you ma'am.. can't wait to try them.