Sugar Cookie Cutouts
By far, this is the most fun and the most memorable holiday activity I have ever experienced with Sydney. We have made so many fond memories of baking cookies and decorating them. We tried many recipes before we found the right one!
We have made icing that would not pipe, we have had icing that would not stick to the cookie and we have decorated cookies that were shaped like male body parts because they lost their intended holiday shape in the oven while they were baking!
This recipe, however, makes the perfect cookie for decorating. It keeps its shape when baking and it has very little rise. You can use any type of flavoring in the dough you like, just make sure you refrigerate the dough at least one hour before you start cutting out the shapes.
I can’t take credit for this recipe, however. I came across this one in a Taste of Home cookbook some time ago. I no longer have the author's name, but I will be glad to extend credit to them and Taste of Home! It works, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
BEWARE! If you tackle these cutout cookies, your kitchen is going to be a mess and you must allow the icing time to set before you package them up. Trying to multi-task when there are five different colors of cookie icing can be disastrous if you are not prepared….or if you have children helping you!
To make this a great experience, have a game plan. I like to have all of the supplies ready before I begin the decorating process. I recommend using disposable cookie sheets, paper plates or wax paper to hold the cookies while you are decorating them just so the food coloring does not stain anything and when you are finished, you can just throw them away instead of spending an hour cleaning up icing and sprinkles. Wear an apron or an old t-shirt and have your children do the same! Also, keep some paper towels handy because you are going to need them….You would be surprised how this icing tends to find its way into places you did not know existed. Yes, it can be messy and time consuming, but it will likely create some of the best memories you will ever make with your children.
INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIE DOUGH
¾ cup butter, softened, NOT melted
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (you may use lemon, almond, maple or any other extract you would like)
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
INGREDIENTS for Cookie Icing
(This is enough to make one color and it goes a long way! This is relatively thin icing, but the milk may be adjusted accordingly.)
1 cup confectioner sugar
2 tsp corn syrup
1 tbls milk
1 tsp vanilla
your choice of sprinkles and decorations
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
After chilling, flour a large surface. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut out with Christmas cookie cutters of your choice. Transfer the cookies to a greased baking sheet.
Bake t 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Gently remove from pan and cool completely.
Decorate cookies with frosting and sprinkles
DIRECTIONS FOR THE ICING
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a whisk. Add your choice of food coloring or gel color. Repeat this process for additional colors. You may use a piping bag or dip the cookies in the icing and use sprinkles to decorate. Be creative and have fun!