Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sugary Sweet and Oh So Pretty Sugar Cookies

One of the first cookies I remember helping to makeare sugar cookies.  Mom had a shoebox full of the most interesting cutters and they always amazed me. Something about taking a simple cookie dough and turning it into a fancy cookie with sugars and icings makes me smile.  I so enjoy the smiles, the oohs, and the ahhs from people who see the cookies.  These cookies are of course tasty just plain and now that I have my trusty Star Wars cutters, a plain old cookie can still be pretty fantastic!

Sugar Cookies, perfect for cut outs!
Pre heat oven to 350 F
Ingredient list:
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

In a bowl combine the 2 ¼ cups flour with the ¼ tsp salt and set aside.

Cream together the ¾ cups butter with the 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. (Use either the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or the beaters on a handheld mixer)

Add the 1 egg and the 1 tsp vanilla and beat until everything is well combined.

Gradually add the flour/salt mixture.  If you are using a hand mixer, you may find switching to a wooden spoon makes stirring in the flour a bit easier. 

Split the dough into 2 or 3 flattened disks, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour.

Sprinkle the counter top with a light dusting of flour.

Roll out a disk of dough, rotating and ensuring the dough isn’t sticking to the counter.

With the cookie cutters of your choice cut out cookies by pressing the cutter straight down into the dough. 

Transfer cookies to a parchment or silicone mat lined cookie sheet.  This is the point to sprinkle on the coloured decorator's sugar if  you are going that route.

Bake 10 – 12 minutes at 350 degrees F or until edges are lightly browned.

If you would rather decorate with royal icing, wait until the cookies are completely cooled before starting.
Royal icing

3tbsp meringue powder
4 cups icing sugar
6 tbsp warm water (a little less for a more stiff icing)

Beat all 3 ingredients for 7 to 10 minutes.  Icing should form peaks when it is ready.  

Divide the icingg among a couple of bowls so you can colour them different colours to make some lovely designs on your cookies.

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