Who doesn't love a good old cut-out sugar cookie, the kind we see at Christmas shaped like trees and snowflakes and stars? A lot of those cookies look pretty (far prettier than mine!) but they don't taste so good. So, I thought today I'd share a recipe for one that tastes wonderful and my method for making it easy.
And my invisible assistant in the kitchen this day was Rita of Panoply, who included this terrific fleur de lis cookie cutter in her purge package for me! Since our book club selection, "The Hare with Amber Eyes," took place in France (and Vienna and Japan), I thought it would be a good selection for our meeting.
Here's the recipe -- I suspect you may well already have this one at home and may not realize it. It comes from a relatively recent edition of "The Joy of Cooking" (titled, creatively, "The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking"). And it makes a lot of cookies!
And, what I really like about this is that just sugaring them is fine -- it's a good cookie without frosting and frosting makes it even better! I'd rather frost but sometimes there just isn't time!
2 1/2 sticks of butter
1 c. sugar
(Cream together till fluffy and add:)
1 large egg (I used extra large and it was fine)
1 T. milk (I didn't have milk -- used water, it was fine)
2 1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. finely grated lemon zest (I just did the whole lemon because I like them lemony; this is an optional ingredient)
Add (mixed together)
3 1/4 flour (all purpose)
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
Mix ingredients together and divide in half.
Roll each half out flat between two sheets of waxed paper and chill a half hour.
Peel off top layer of waxed paper and cut cookies, rerolling dough scraps.
If the dough gets too soft, roll flat again between waxed paper and re-chill.
Repeat for the second half.
Bake on parchment or greased sheets at 375 for 6 to 9 minutes. (If using sugars vs. icing, put on before baking) Cool on baking sheet for a minute or two before removing.
Cool on baking rack before frosting.
You probably have your favorite buttercream or frosting recipe. I frost with my trash can version of butter cream -- about a half stick of butter, up to 1 T. of milk (depending on how much powdered sugar -- I just throw it in) and about 1 t. of vanilla or -- if desired -- another flavor. I used lemon juice with these -- about 1 T., because I like it tart! (Or peppermint or whatever you like)
Adjust consistency with more sugar or milk.
Note: This recipe makes a lot of cookies and the dough will freeze, so you could bake off half of it, which is probably easier than making a half-recipe. It all depends on the size of your cutters. This cutter from Rita is extra large (as are some Christmas cutters) but many are much smaller.
Sharing today with: Let's Keep in Touch (Let's Add Sprinkles) / Share Your Cup
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