Monday, December 23, 2013

Cookies for Christmas

I’ve never liked making cutout cookies. I guess it’s because I’ve had so many failures. But a new recipe has changed my mind.
Over the years, I’ve had a hard time finding a recipe with a sugar cookie dough I could roll out easily — one that didn’t stick to the rolling pin or the pastry sheet.
In recent years, my daughter and I have relied on refrigerated sugar cookie dough whenever we wanted to make cutout cookies. And we were quite happy with the results.
But on Saturday, I decided to be adventurous and try a very popular recipe from the website allrecipes.com. I ran across the recipe in the website’s new magazine, also named allrecipes.
The best rolled-out sugar cookies recipe has more than 5,700 reviews and a 4.5 rating out of 5. I’m pretty sure I’ve made this recipe before, and I know I will keep it to make again.
I made a bold move when I made these cookies last week and followed the recipe exactly, even remembering to leave the butter on the counter so it would reach room temperature. I also used all-purpose flour and baking powder instead of my usual self-rising flour substitute.
While my supper was in the oven, I mixed up the batter in just a few minutes and then followed the instructions to let it chill at least an hour. It was probably 90 minutes by the time we ate, cleared the supper dishes and got ready to make cookies.
Our granddaughter, Sora, was with us Saturday night, and she and my daughter, Anna, worked with me to make a very large recipe of cutout reindeer, stockings, Christmas trees and angels.
Again I followed the instructions and rolled out only a small amount of dough at the time on a lightly floured surface, returning the remaining dough to the refrigerator in between. I had no trouble at all rolling out the dough or cutting out shapes and transferring them to the cookie sheet. This is such a different experience from times when the buttery dough was too delicate to roll without tearing or sticking to the rolling pin or cutters.
We filled small bowls with red and green sprinkles, and the three of us had fun decorating. Most of it was random sprinklings of crunchy sugar, my favorite! And we made sure several reindeer had a red nose.
The sweet smell of sugar cookies baking enticed us to keep making cookies as sheet after sheet baked. But none of us grew tired of this yearly ritual.
The cookies were very good. They are not too rich and not overly sweet. We all loved them.
This recipe is big, making up to 5 dozen, depending on the size of your cutters, but it’s also easily adapted for smaller batches.
I’ve already given away some of our cookies, but there should be enough left to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve!
If you haven’t made cookies with your family yet this season, I urge you to give this recipe a try and make some memories while you’re making cookies!

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810

Best rolled sugar cookies

11⁄2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
Makes 5 dozen.

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