Reposting for 2016 - a beautiful cookie - and a classic tradition in our home
Cut-out sugar cookies are interesting to me because basically you have but maybe four recipes that a thousand different versions come from. One uses granulated sugar, one uses powdered sugar, some may use cream of tartar and others use baker's ammonia. Other than that you have some butter, flour, eggs, baking soda, salt, vanilla.... the amounts change but using the same basic ingredients you get sugar cookies with tastes and textures that are so very different from each other. Of course other factors figure in there too like the temperature of your butter or your eggs, how old your baking supplies are, the temperature of the oven, etc. but I'm still just in awe that cookies (and cakes) start with the same basic ingredients and come out so very different.
This cookie recipe is probably one that a million women have already, and well, let's make it one million and one. Today we are going to cut them into snowflakes. You can find the snowflake cookie cutters almost anywhere these days, although when I bought mine they were difficult to find and the internet wasn't in as heavy use as it is now. I had to order mine from a real, honest to goodness old fashioned catalog. LOL. You can find them in stores, in catalogs and online easily now so - go get yourself some snowflake cookie cutters and then come back. (I have links at the bottom of this post to 3 of them on Amazon to get you started if you are interested.)
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 c butter, soft
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar
1 t salt
Combine sugar and butter, beat until creamy with your electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Add dry ingredients and mix until blended. Chill dough until it's easy to work with; 30-60 minutes.
On lightly floured surface roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies. Bake at 350 until the edges just start to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Use your favorite frosting recipe, but store bought frosting won't work well for piping. You can use one of my frosting recipes if you would like, here is the one I posted for Valentine Cookies.
For my snowflake cookies I didn't actually use a frosting recipe, I just put powdered sugar, some butter, a little cream, an egg white and vanilla in the mixer and whipped it.
I also did not feel like getting out my decorator tips and couplers so to decorate the cookies I used a disposable decorating bag and simply snipped the tip off with a pair of scissors. Using this, pipe frosting onto your cookies in a design that you prefer.
For sparkle you can purchase food-grade Platinum Dust Edible Glitter online or in the cake/cookie decorating aisle of your local store. Most Walmarts, grocery stores and fabric and craft stores will have this. The one I used was by Wilton. Sprinkle glitter on while the frosting is still wet so it will stick. The frosting will start to set up within minutes so sprinkle as you decorate each cookie, don't go back and try to do 15 at a time as the frosting will have already hardened on the top (although it will remain squishy for hours so don't stack them!).
Let your cookies sit about 10 hours (I let them set overnight) before stacking or freezing.
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