Saturday, December 24, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking: Sugar Cookies

There is nothing original about decorating sugar cookies for Christmas. Just about everybody does it and just about everybody has a favorite recipe for sugar cookie cut-outs. However, I have some very special memories of decorating sugar cookies for Christmas while still living at my parent's house. I was especially excited to decorate cookies with Matthew. So, this year, instead of trying to play with some fancy designs, I kept things simple by making a white icing and buying a package of Christmas sprinkles so that Matthew would be able to participate as much as possible.

Shortly before the cookie-making began, Matthew ran into a corner and skinned up his little nose. He was a champ about letting us clean and bandage him up. And he still looks pretty cute despite the fact that half his face is a bandage.

We had a blast rolling out the dough and showing Matthew how to use the cookie cutters. He caught on pretty quickly and was eager to do it by himself. The only problem was that he would overlap his cutouts - making some gruesome looking shapes (think snowflake on top of snowman on top of Santa). Please ignore my crazy hair. I just got out of the shower and Matthew helped me brush my hair. As you can see, he did a stellar job.

Once the cookies were cool and it was time to decorate, Paul and I would frost each shape and then hand them off to Matthew to administer the sprinkles. He absolutely loved that - except he was incredibly, incredibly slow at it, choosing to carefully place only a single sprinkle on the cookie at a time. It took him about 20 minutes to finish a single cookie. At least he had fun. When he started to throw the sprinkles, we knew his time was up.

In other news, it looks like this is the closest we're going to come to a white Christmas this year.

At least it was sunny outside! All three of us went for a walk around the neighborhood and it was absolutely glorious!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sugar Cookies
adapted from Allrecipes

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder, stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the heavy cream. Cover dough, and chill for 2 to 3 hours, until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 12-14 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms and edges of cookies are light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Merry Christmas Eve!

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