sugar cookie recipe

Easy Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Trees

Sugar Cookie Trees

These are a classic and always part of my holiday cookie baking. I change the shapes for the different holidays. I will confess to having an enormous assortment of cookie cutters.  This time of year I am making trees, stars, snowmen and more. I use royal icing to frost them and an assortment of sprinkles and other candies. Royal icing is made with egg whites, powdered egg whites, actually. The advantage over say, a butter cream, is that this frosting hardens, making the cookies easy to pack and stack. You don’t need much- just a thin layer and tinting the frosting different colors is a big part of the fun. Depending on how much time you have, you can get really creative with decorating these cookies.

 

Easy Sugar Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
3 T. milk
Extra sugar for sprinkling, if desired
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Beat in milk. Heat oven to 375-degrees. Roll dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/3- inch thickness. Cut out with lightly floured cutters and sprinkle with sugar or colored sugar if you like and if you are not going to frost them. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 3 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely. Frost when cooled. Makes about 4 dozen.
Decorating your cookies:
You can use tube of pre-made frosting or you can tint canned frosting, however the best way is to use royal icing. Because royal icing contains egg whites it gets hard. Cookies have a smooth appearance and can be stacked. When making royal icing ALWAYS USE PASTUERIZED EGG WHITES OR POWDERED EGGS WHITES TO PREVENT SAMONELLA.
You can also use colored sugar and sprinkles and mini chocolate chips for eyes.

Royal Icing
1 lb. powdered sugar
½ t. cream of tartar
5¼ t. egg white powder
6 T. water
½ t. vanilla, optional
Assorted food colorings
In large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add water and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Divide into small bowls and tint each batch as needed. Keep bowl covered with a damp towel while waiting to use so frosting will not dry out.

Halloween Sugar Cookies

Halloween Sugar Cookies

Halloween Sugar Cookies

I had a program with 50 kids last week and we made these cookies. A simple sugar cookie, it was an easy decorating task even for the younger kids. I cut the cookies with a large pumpkin shaped cookie cutter, but you could use bats, cats or other Halloween shapes. I made a simple butter cream and added orange food coloring. I also made some chocolate frosting for the stems.  The decorations are just a candy called Sixlets. I used them because they are nut- free and some of the kids have nut  allergies.

 

 

Halloween Sugar Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
3 T. milk

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Beat in milk. Heat oven to 375-degrees. Roll dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/3- inch thickness. Cut out with lightly floured cutters and bake on ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 3 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely. Frost when cooled. Makes about 4 dozen.

For tinted dough you can add red and yellow food coloring to butter mixture before adding flour and cut out as pumpkins. For chocolate sugar cookies you can add ½ c. cocoa to flour mixture before adding to shortening and reduce flour by ¼ cup. This dough is great for bats and cats.

Classic Butter Cream

1/3 cup butter
4 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a bowl beat butter or margarine until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in the 1/4 milk and vanilla. Slowly beat in remaining sugar. Beat in additional milk, if needed, to make of spreading consistency. Tint with food color, if desired.

Easy Chocolate Butter Cream

6 T. butter, softened
1/3 – 3/4 c. cocoa, depending on how dark you want your frosting.
2 2/3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
Cream butter. Combine cocoa and sugar. Beat cocoa mixture in alternately with the milk until frosting is spreading consistency. Beat in vanilla. You may need an additional tablespoon of milk. Makes about 2 cups.

Sweetheart Sugar Cookies

Sweetheart Sugar Cookies

Sweetheart Sugar Cookies

I made a batch of these for friends the other day. Used my favorite sugar cookie recipe and cut out hearts. I then used a smaller heart cookie cutter and cut out smaller hearts from half of the cookies. Sandwiched the baked cookies together with homemade strawberry preserves. Since I also had a bunch of tiny heart cookies from the cut outs, I used melted chocolate to turn them into tiny sandwich cookies.

Sugar Cookies

1 c. butter

1 c. sugar

1 egg

1 t. vanilla

3 c. flour

2 t. baking powder

3 T. milk

Extra sugar for sprinkling, if desired

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Beat in milk. Heat oven to 375-degrees. Roll dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/3- inch thickness. Cut out with lightly floured cutters and sprinkle with sugar or colored sugar if you like and if you are not going to frost them. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 3 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely. Frost when cooled. Makes about 4 dozen.

Cookies ready to be sandwiched together

Cookies ready to be sandwiched together

Little heart cookies sandwiched with melted chocolate

Little heart cookies sandwiched with melted chocolate

 

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