December 24, 2009

12 Days of Goodies- Day 12: Christmas Sugar Cookies

It's finally the twelfth and final day! I never thought I would say this, but I am pretty relieved to be getting a break from the kitchen! And to close out this 12 day series I've been doing, I thought it appropriate to end on something traditional, like sugar cookies. I grew up decorating sugar cookies every Christmas Eve. But this is my first year to attempt a somewhat professional finish on them. I know they are no where near professional grade, but for a first timer at making royal icing, and practicing certain techniques such as outlining and flood filling, I think I did an A OK job. I imagine that the art of cake and cookie decorating only improves with practice.

I hope everyone has enjoyed my "12 Days of Goodies", but now I'm going to join in on the Christmas Festivities and take a much needed vacation. See ya'll in 2010!

Sugar Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown for Food Network

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

3. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat.

4. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes about 3 dozen 2 1/2" cookies

**For a great Royal Icing recipe and fantastic tips on cookie decorating, visit Good Things Catered!

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