Some things never change.
I drove up to St. Paul earlier this week to bring my brother home from his first semester of college, and within the first few days of being home, we found ourselves in the kitchen making sugar cookies. It is not that either of us particularly love the time involved in decorating two trays full of sugar cookies, or need any more tempting sugar in the house, but as I said, some things never change.
As young children every holiday season involved decorating home-made sugar cookies- a treat for Santa. Although my brother and I are both in college now, and know better than to leave cookies on the hearth each Christmas Eve, we couldn’t let go of that tradition. We couldn’t let go of that tradition, because in many ways, that’s what the holidays are- a collection of traditions that bind us together and wrap us in memories. For that reason, some things never change. And sometimes, that’s exactly what I need.
Happy holidays from my family to yours.
- ½ cup softened butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour- sifted
- 2-3 Tablespoons of milk, as needed
- Preheat your oven to 375˚ F and spray a light layer of non-stick spray on two baking sheets.
- Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
- In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing well.
- Once all the flour has been added, kneed the dough until the ingredients are completely combined.
- Sprinkle a clean, smooth surface area and a rolling pin with flour.
- Roll ¼ of your dough into a smooth ball and drop into the center of your floured surface. Roll the dough out into a thing sheet- 1/8 an inch thick.
- Arrange your cookie cutter shapes on the dough without pressing down. Once you have the ideal arrangement of cookie cutter shapes arranged on the dough, press the cookie cutters down into the dough, carefully wiggling each cookie cutter to get a clean cut.
- Remove all the extra dough around the cookie cutters, and then remove the cookie cutters themselves. One by one, move the dough shapes from the counter to the baking pan using a metal spatula.
- Continue steps 4-6 until all of the dough has been used.
- Bake each cookie sheet individually for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottoms are a light brown and the centers are not too doughy. If you wait until the cookies are light brown on top, you may find them to be too hard. That’s up to personal opinion though!
10. Allow the cookies to cool completely before icing them.
- 1 ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons milk
- Food coloring
- Optional flavoring: vanilla, maple flavoring, mint extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the sugar and milk, stirring until completely mixed.
- Divide the icing up into smaller bowls and add flavoring to each. (I am not a fan of the taste of confectioners sugar, so I always like to add a little pumpkin pie spice or a few drops of vanilla to help enhance the flavor. This is optional, however with trial and error pumpkin pie spice adjusts the flavor the best.)
- Add a drop of food coloring to each bowl as desired. We did yellow, red, green, blue, left one white, and mixed blue and red to make purple!
- Decorate your cookies, and have fun with it!
Notes and Tips!:
- If you like this recipe, check out these other excellent holiday treats!: Holiday Trail Mix, Chocolate Mint Puddle Cookies, Caramel Delight Chocolate Covered Pretzels, and No-Bake Energy Bites