One of our family traditions at Christmastime includes Christmas baking. Every year, the kids and Kelly would help me and we’d create plates of goodies for friends and neighbors. The plates included a variety of candy, breads, cookies including fudge, caramels, lemon poppyseed bread, cranberry bread, or pumpkin bread; and cookies, oatmeal, chocolate chip, snicker doodle, and of course sugar cookies.The kids delighted in doing a knock and run method of delivering the goodies.
I remember one year I had spread the cookie making out over several days, and we were getting ready to do the sugar cookies. A couple of the boys from next door were hanging out with my kids. I called my kids to come in to help, and during the course of a conversation I found out they had never made cookies with their mom, let alone decorated sugar cookies, ever.
So even though I knew, based on experience, that they were wild, obnoxious, and dishonest (one year they stole the Christmas lights right out of our yard) I invited them in to make sugar cookies with us.
My heart was warmed as I watched them first cut out snowmen, stars, and Santas, then after they had cooled, decorating their masterpieces with frosting and sprinkles. And I was glad that they experienced the joy of making Christmas cookies; and that day, the only thing they took home was the cookies.
This is my sugar cookie recipe, that I’ve been using for over 20 years. Another time-tested, kid approved recipe.
Soft Rolled Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 c sugar
1 cube butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp soda
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c sour whipping cream (sour cream)
4 c flour
Cream sugar and butter together, add eggs mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients in order. Mix well, form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Divide dough into two or three balls. Sprinkle counter with flour, roll out dough on top of flour. Use cookie cutters to cut out into desired shapes. (If you do not have a cookie cutter, use a drinking glass, simply turn it upside down to cut dough into circles).
Prepare pan with parchment paper. Transfer cookies to cookie sheet. Bake for 7-10 min. at 350 degrees. Place on rack to cool. Frost/Decorate after cookies have cooled.
If you simply want to add colored sugar to your cookies, make a “paint” of egg white and water (1 egg white and ¼ tsp water) and paint the UNBAKED cookies with this colorless paint. Then sprinkle the sugar right onto cookie. Then bake the cookies according to your recipe.
Place 1/4 – sugar in a sandwich sized zipper bag. Add 1 – 2 drops of food coloring. Seal bag, shake until sugar is desired color. If color is not deep enough, add more food coloring.
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. soft butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
powdered sugar (to make a spreadable frosting) about 2-3 cups.
Mix and then divide into small bowls. Add food coloring to create desired colors for decorating cookies.