Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sugar cookies - butter cookies - whatever

During my lovely Vermont Christmas holiday this year, Q's mom and I spent an afternoon doing girly bonding things, like gabbing and decorating cookies. We had a lovely time, and while I normally skip the sugar cookies in favor of chocolate chip, I loved the crafty aspect of it.

Until I ate one.

Ho. Lee. Cow. So freaking numtastic.
I'd like to try to make these for Easter, but we'll see if that actually manifests into reality. I have no idea where she got the recipe, but here we have it.

(They're called "All-Purpose Butter Cookies" but really? That's kind of lame. They should be called OHMYGODTHESEAREGOOD Cookies or something.)
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg - room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
2 tbsp oj (or fresh lemon juice)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add egg and mix well. Add juice and extracts. Beat in flour mixture, careful not to overmix. This toughens the dough and makes it tough to work with.
Divide dough in half. Flatten into disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate or freeze. Remove from fridge 10 minutes before rolling on floured surface. Cut out into desired adorable shapes. This may require a trip to Sur la Table or something first.

Easter Copper Cookie Cutters, Set of 3
Wouldn't these be freaking adorable? Seriously - with little cotton candy fluffs for the tails on the buns? I'm dying.

Bake cutouts on ungreased cookie sheets at 360 degrees (seriously? 360?) until edges begin to brown, about 8 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove cookies from cookie sheets and cool on racks.

Mix 1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar with enough light cream to produce a thick spreading consistency. Flavor with desired flavorings (vanilla, yum), and color with food dye to desired colors. Put frostings into plastic bags (or pastry bags if you're fancy; or those cheap little squeeze bottles you can get at kitchen supply stores if you're a perfectionist) and pipe onto cookies.
I think I trust Martha's Royal Icing recipe a bit more, especially since Q-mom used her own recipe too (instead of this one), and I do believe she said hers had (MORE!) butter in it. Yum.

Based on what I learned when this lady was on Martha, you might want to do a slightly thicker version for outlining, and a little looser version for "flooding." She made her icing with meringue powder, water and sugar. Too many recipes!!!!

** Update 02.15.11 **
Happy Valentine's Day!!!
After a frosting failure last Easter (note the lack of photos), this batch turned out perfectly.  Yum!

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