Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Posted on 17 April 2011. Filed under: Recipes |

I know, I know…it’s been forever…I’ll get to that in a later blog.  I’ll say this, though: it wasn’t my idea, I can think of about seven hundred ways I’d rather have spent the time, and they made me do it.

Now, moving on…who wants cookies?!

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy sugar cookie cutouts.  They’re fun, they’re delicious, and it gives me an excuse to own more cookie cutters than is, or ever has been, practical.  Iced ducks, anyone?

*Note: before you start this recipe, I’m just going to throw this out there: sugar cookies like this take a long time to make.  We’re talking hours of time, not minutes.  There is a chill time in there, and it is not optional.  They will turn out poorly if you don’t let them set up in the refrigerator before rolling and baking. You have been warned.

Ingredients (cookies)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients (icing)*

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter

2 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp milk

Food Coloring

*Icing disclaimers: this stuff is very finicky.  Depending on how long you whip it, the temperature of the room you’re working in, and possibly what color your apron is, it may require more (or less) sugar and milk to get a consistency you like; have extra of both on hand.

Chill Time: at least 1 hour (but overnight works really well, too)

Preheat: 400F

Directions:

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a smallish bowl until later.

Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl until creamy and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla (beating well after each).

Mix in flour mixture, a little at a time.

Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Fun part: Roll out chilled dough on a floured surface, making the dough about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into shapes, then place cookies about 3/4 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

*Tip for easier cleanup: I find it works best to cover my kitchen island/counter space with waxed paper, tape it down, and then spread flour on it before rolling out dough.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes at 400F.  Cookies are done when the edges are a light, golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool completely before icing.

*

Sugar Cookie Icing Directions

Mix vanilla and butter until creamy.

Add confectioners sugar, a little at a time (I cannot stress that enough…powdered sugar is very, very messy when not handled properly).

Mix thoroughly, then add milk to achieve the desired thickness.

*at this point, taste the frosting…if you like it, leave it alone.  If it seems a bit lacking, add a bit more powdered sugar or milk until you like the texture.

Fun/messy part: separate out the icing into multiple containers if you desire multiple colors.  Mix a couple of drops of food coloring into the frosting until it is the color you want.  Spread frosting on cookies (I found that filling a plastic/ziploc-style baggie with frosting and snipping one corner off to make your own bakers bag is the most efficient way to do this…just don’t make too big of a hole, or you may end up wearing the frosting; also useful is the teaspoon method, where you dip a teaspoon into the color and then use it to carefully apply the icing where you want it).

*

These cookies can be shipped; the most effective method is to allow the icing to dry completely, freeze the cookies, then stack frozen cookies in a container with waxed paper separating the layers of cookies. This helps to ensure that as little icing damage occurs as possible.


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