Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sugar Cookies

After the Christmas time cookie baking extravaganza, we got obsessed with royal icing - particularly my mom, who was really good at it and thus enjoyed herself immensely when we used it to decorate. As you might have guessed, I was rather terrible so I am mostly in charge of making the cookies and the frosting.  Last week, Mom asked me to bake up some heart-shaped cookies so that we could decorate them for Valentine's Day.  We did have plenty of different heart cookie cutters, so I agreed (plus we were having tons of snow days!).  However, I did decide to try a different recipe than the two that I used at Christmas time.  While those gingerbread and sugar cookie recipes make delicious cookies, they spread and rose while they were baking, which made for some cookies that were rather ambiguous in shape.  This recipe is the one that Annie's Eats posts with her recipe for royal icing, and says they are both delicious and they hold their shape while baking.  Count me in.

I think what makes them stay the shape they're cut into is the lack of a rising agent - there is no baking power or soda.  For some reason, powdered sugar is used in place of regular; maybe that has something to do with it too?  The flavor comes from a teaspoon and a half of almond extract, and another teaspoon of vanilla, so these cookies are not short on taste.

The dough was not that fun to work with, I will admit; it was crumbly and stayed hard as a rock no matter how long I left it out of the fridge!  I finally took to cutting slices off the big rock and rolling that out, so it took a bit longer, but it was okay.

The cookies really do hold their shape!  Look at all these perfect hearts - you can even tell which ones were cut with the fluted cookie cutter heart!  That made me happy.  And they really are tasty.  Of course, my mother still insists that my dad's recipe is better, which they may be, but if you want a cookie to look like its cutter, then this is what you want!

Sorry, no pictures of the decorated ones... because there aren't any.  We Tucker ladies have been busy here on our vacation week!


sugar cookies
from Annie's Eats

1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups sifted flour


1) Cream butter.  Add powdered sugar.  Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla salt, and flour.

2) Chill dough until firm.

3) Roll to 1/4"-thickness on well-floured surface.  Cut with cookie cutters.  Place on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Cookies should not brown.  Frost and decorate when cool.

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