Tuesday, December 23, 2008


If you are snowed in today like us, then why not whip up a delicious batch of sugar cookies complete with your own homemade icing? The kids will thank you, I promise! My family makes a special request every Christmas for me to bring these along. It's a basic recipe, but there are a few tips that I'll tell you about so they turn out extra yummy!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups flour

1. Beat together softened butter and margarine in a large bowl.
TIP #1:
I like to use butter AND margarine. The butter gives the cookies a rich flavor and the margarine makes the dough more manageable and less dry.
2. Beat in sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Beat in vanilla and then the egg.
4. Mix together flour and baking powder in a medium size bowl.
5. Use a mixer to add the flour mixture gradually, beating between additions.
TIP #2:
If it becomes too stiff you can add a little milk.
6. Gather the dough into a ball, cover with wax paper,place in a ziploc bag and refrigerate a few hours.
7. Roll the dough to a scant 1/4" thickness, with a marble (preferable) rolling pin, between two lightly floured sheets of wax paper or parchment.
TIP #3:
If you roll too thin the cookies have a tendency to burn when cooking or break when transfering to the cookie sheet.
8. Cut with desired cookie cutter shapes.
9. Bake in 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes on ungreased cookie sheets.
10. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

This is a wonderful icing that is rich and very tasty. I like the fact that when it dries it has a hardened surface that doesn't "smush" when other cookies are placed on top. Not like the stuff you buy at the store!

1/4 cup butter
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
3 to 4 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Cream butter in a medium size mixing bowl.
2. Add vanilla and beat.
TIP # 1:
If you want extra white icing use Wilton's Clear Vanilla Extract. You can buy it at Michaels.
3. Gradually beat in icing sugar, adding a tablespoon of milk each time to make the mixture more manageable.
4. Ice cookies and sprinkle with crystallized sugar or non-pareils.
TIP #2 and tremendous time saver:
I put my icing in a disposable plastic icing bag, I use a round #4 Wilton tip to quickly spread the icing over the cookies. It uses a little less icing so it's a lighter on the calories as well.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas to you all!

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