Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Elegant Simplicity

Every Christmas, my mother made dozens of many different kinds of cookies. My favorites were her Vanilla Spritz and Sugar Cookies. When Bella was old enough we made sugar cookies frequently. For every school event Bella brought sugar cookies. Holidays meant, yup, sugar cookies. Over the years we have developed quite a cookie cutter collection.

Every year at Christmas-time Bella and I still try to bake sugar cookies together. This year Bella was able to come home a few days early, and we had a wonderful time baking. We made many of our traditional favorites, including Sugar Cookies. We made the colored sugars and used our favorite cookie cutters. It was such a wonderful treat!

This is the recipe my mother used. It is elegant in its simplicity in both flavor and the making.
To enhance your creative possibilities, make your own colored sugars. For colored sugar how to, see my earlier post Surprisingly Easy.

Best Ever Sugar Cookies
2-1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¾ c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl, stir to combine, and set aside. Place the butter, sugar and eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Scrape sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients, and blend in on low. Chill dough covered for at least one hour or over night.

Preheat oven to 400. Have cookie sheets handy. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Cut into thirds. Roll one third of the dough out on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Decorate as desired with colored sugars, dragees, nonpareils, edible glitter, etc. Bake for about 4 minutes until cookies are set and the edges are a very light golden brown. Rotate half way through baking time. Watch carefully as the cookies burn easily. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container with wax paper between layers.

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