Jan 4, 2015

The Cookie-cutter Work Release Project: Or how to make any day a holiday.


One of the hallmarks of the holiday season are trays of homemade sugar-cookie-cutouts in all sorts of holly-jolly shapes and sizes, covered in sparkles of sugary glitter and edible bobbles.  It’s the act of making these little treats that’s really the “thing”. I mean they’re yummy and all, but the most delicious part of this dessert is the process. The rolling out, the use of happily shaped metal stencils, the icing, and the festive stuff you get to throw on top.

I think this process needs to happen way more than once a year.   It doesn’t, mostly because this kind of cookie fo'shizzle takes TIME.  And no one’s got that.

I feel you.  I’m here for you.

Instead of buying the log-o-dough at the market, here’s the EASIEST and yummiest recipe that you can double or triple, roll into your own darn log, wrap in wax paper, pop into a big freezer bag, and fist bump that Pillsbury dough boy next time you see him in the butter section.  I would bet my bottom dollar that you probably have all of the ingredients needed already in your pantry.  If you don’t, then honey go get them.  You need them for life.

I have been using this cookie recipe for over 20 years. It’s delightful.  It comes from my first ever cookbook the “Better Homes and Gardens NEW COOKBOOK” that I received from Auntie Jane at my bridal shower in 1991.  It’s perfection. Seriously, it will take you ten minutes and it’s basically dumping things in your mixer.

So, let’s get this party started.

Sugar-Cookie Cutouts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup shortening ( deep breaths.. it’s okay to use shortening)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 T. milk
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Dash salt

Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add about half the flour, the egg, sugar, milk, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Beat til thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover or wrap in cling wrap, and chill for 3 hours. (this is important, people, just do it).

I think you know how to do the rest…the most important part of rolling and cutting sugar cookies is your “lightly floured surface”.  I have a granite-topped kitchen island, and it works great as a rolling out surface.  Just make sure you have enough flour down on whatever surface you use. Bake your creations for about 7-8 minutes or til edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.  Don’t over-bake these babies. COOL completely before decorating…or you’ll have icing soup. I highly recommend powdered sugar icing. (It’s like powdered sugar and milk). Or if you have to, the store-bought kind.  Hey, you MADE the dough, I’m down with any other short-cuts ya gotta take after that.

I assure you that when you pull this out of your freezer, set up a sugar cookie making factory on your counter, and announce to your kids that “it’s garbage pick-up day!”

“Let’s party!”

You’ll be up for the golden globe for “best supporting mother on a Thursday in February”


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