Many of you probably remember the travails we have experienced with our middle dog, Finnegan. The one who stole my naan. The one who gets in the garbage. The one who ate half a bundt cake in 15 seconds flat.
Yeah that one.
Well we put him on Prozac and my sugar cookies have been decorated and drying all afternoon, Finnegan-free. It is probably too soon to say yes this definitely worked, but I am really starting to think it did. It is the 3rd batch of cookies I have cooled without locking Finnegan up and he has stopped bothering us at night (he used to practically crawl into our laps for attention, even while we were already patting him and paying attention to him).
Wish us luck.
Anyway, I am sharing this recipe with a caveat. I don’t really like decorated sugar cookies–I never have. But I seem to want to eat these, and so I am thinking maybe the folks at Sur la Table were on to something when they cut the butter into the dough like a scone for this recipe. So if you don’t like decorated sugar cookies I am not claiming this is the recipe that will change your mind, but if you do like them, and wish they were thicker and chewier, or if, like me, you just love painting cookies, then this is a good recipe to try.
I got this recipe from my friends on the CLBB, who got it from Sur la Table–a cooking class maybe? These are not the most Christmas-y cookies I have ever decorated but most of my Christmas cookie cutters, gel colors, sprinkles, etc are still packed away PLUS these were done with toddlers, which means my inner OCD needs to be locked away and I need to just let the cookies get painted. For the record those are snowflakes, Christmas tree ornaments, and there in front something that looks like a cross between a gingerbread man and a teddy bear.
One note about the photos–if you think it looks like I took the pics on the floor, it is because I did. I thought I might try using my kaffir lime tree’s grow light for taking a nighttime picture. It seems to have worked ok but still not anywhere as nice as natural light.
3 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter cut into 10-12 pieces, cold
1 large egg
3-4 T milk
1 t vanilla (or any flavor–I used vanilla this time)
In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter
to flour, cutting it in with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small crumbs.
In a small bowl whisk together egg, 3 tablespoons milk and vanilla. Add this to the flour mixture
while mixing with a fork until mixture comes together in a ball. If it does not come together into a ball, drizzle more milk in by the teaspoonful until it does.
Dump the dough onto the counter and knead twice to bring together into a ball. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes (I chilled overnight).
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone.
Divide dough into 2 pieces, set 1 piece aside. Roll dough onto surface sprinkled with a mix of powdered sugar and flour (about 2/3 sugar and 1/3 flour). Roll to about 1/4 inch thickness (DO NOT ROLL DOUGH THINNER). Cut into desired shapes. Place cookies on baking sheet.
Bake for 6-9 minutes, rotating from front to back halfway through. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack after about 2 1/2 minutes. Let cool before decorating.
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
3-4 T milk, or more for more of a paintable icing as opposed to spreadable (we like to paint so I used milk until I could paint it with a brush)
1 t vanilla
gel food coloring (divide frosting into separate bowls for many colors)
Using a mixer, begin to cream the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla (it will still be quite powdery). Then slowly add the milk, pausing to increase the speed sporadically, until you get the desired consistency.