Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Mortars and pestles... not just for mojitos :-)
As soon as I saw these cookie cutters, I knew I had to have them. My husband graduated from pharmacy school last week, and we made these cookies for his reception. I made the cookies after work one night, and he helped me decorate them the next. All the names on the vial cookies are actual medications. The challenge was to find names that were short enough to fit on the cookie :-)
I have made this sugar cookie recipe from allrecipes.com for several years. I think I may have found it back in high school one year when my husband (then boyfriend) and I decided to make cut-out cookies for Christmas. I really can't think of a complaint about this recipe. The dough has never been sticky, it really doesn't need to be chilled before rolling out the dough, and they bake up firm enough to hold their shape while staying soft for days. Perfect in my book.
For frosting, I've always made a quick buttercream using just butter, vanilla, a splash of milk, and powdered sugar. There are no real measurements. I just add powdered sugar until it's the consistency I want. If it gets too thick, just thin it with a little bit of milk. We used a bottle of decorators fondant that I got from the craft store for the writing. I have yet to try royal icing although I always envy the beautifully decorated cookies that others make! That may be next on the list :-)
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Adapted from www.allrecipes.com
1-1/2 c. butter, softened
2 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. The dough can be chilled up to overnight. I don't chill it. I've never found it needed to be chilled.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough on a floured surface to 1/4-1/2 of an inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes in the preheated oven until cookies no longer look "wet." If they start to brown on the edges, you cooked them a little long. Cool completely before decorating.