The Damsel loves presents. She recently received a box from Ann Clark Ltd., which is a cookie-cutter-making-company in Vermont.
Awww! What’s cuter than a bunch of springtime-shaped cookie cutters?
Making rolled sugar cookies is way old school. The Damsel has been meaning to do a post about them for a long time. She’s put it off because, well, let’s face it. She has seven kids, and rolled cookies are not the fastest way to get flour and sugar into your mouth.
The Damsel doesn’t want to hear any sniping about the fact that three of her seven kids are grown up and don’t live at home. She likes her seven-kids-excuse and plans on using it for the rest of her life.
So. Sugar cookies. They really aren’t hard, and kids love to make and eat them.
There are a billionty sugar cookie recipes, but today the Damsel is following the one sent with the cutters. But, of course, any recipe will do. This one is fast, easy, with only a few ingredients.
Soften 2 cubes of butter (1 cup) and throw them into a mixer bowl. Add 2/3 cup plain granulated processed unhealthy delicious white sugar. Mix it around a bit.
Have your 14 year old put one egg in because you can’t take a picture of yourself cracking an egg.
Ye olde teaspoon of vanilla. Then 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix everything until well blended.
Here’s a short video from Epicurious about mixing sugar cookie dough:
The Damsel said this was easy, but there is a hard part. You now have to chill the dough. Oh, the waiting! The cookie making party comes to a screeching halt. The recipe recommends 3 to 4 hours. The Damsel made it 2 hours before succumbing to the lure of the Pretty New Cookie Cutters. As far as she can tell, nothing bad happened. (Note: the video says 1 hour)
Preheat the oven to 350, and get yourself a cookie sheet, lined, if you like, with a silicone mat. Some folks lightly spray a bare pan with cooking spray.
Lightly flour your surface and roll out 1/4″ thick. Chilled dough is much less sticky, so you shouldn’t need much flour. By the way…1/4″ is thicker than you think it is.
Press the cookie cutter firmly down till you hit bottom and wiggle just a bit.
Pull dough away from the cut design until you can liberate it. With a design like this, with long skinny parts, you’ll have to be extra careful. The Damsel used a thin spatula to transfer them to the cookie sheet.
You don’t need as much space between the cookies as you normally would, since these cookies have no leavening (baking powder or soda) that would make them rise or spread very much.
Bake the cookies until they have the tiniest hint of color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
There’s nothing shameful about eating a sugar cookie plain, but here’s a the frosting recipe that came with the cutters: 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. The Damsel added bright yellow food coloring because it seemed springish, and she was way too lazy that day to make a bunch of colors.
Then, shockingly, there was an Attack of the Fourteen Year Old Girls. Three. At Once. Resistance is Futile.
And then a sixteen-year-old floated through the kitchen, and it was all over. This pretty much covers the reason why there are no pictures of beautifully decorated, pristine cookies for you to see.
The Ann Clark company has offered the Damsel’s students a discount on their website. BLGA19. It is good thru 12/31/10 and provides a 10% discount at checkout. These are very nice people…a family-run business, and the Damsel highly recommends you have a look around their website. Cutest Cookie Cutters Plus they have a blog with lots of fun ideas for using cutters, many of which the Damsel had never thought of. The Blog
And finally, here are the recipes in a more cut-and-pastable form:
Cream: 1 cup butter, 2/3 cup sugar
Beat in: 1 egg
Add: 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 1/2 cups sifted flour.
Mix until all ingredients are well blended. Chill dough 3-4 hours before rolling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out 1/4″ thick and cut. Bake about 8-10 minutes or until barely colored. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.
3/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbl. melted butter, 1 tbl. milk, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 tsp. lemon juice.
Whisk all ingredients until smooth.