Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Taste of Spring . . . .

For me there's nothing like baking sugar cookies -- Saturday I mixed up a favorite cookie dough (recipe below), stored it in the frig to chill overnight and Sunday I was ready to go.

I gathered my baking tools --
  • vintage (30 yrs +) Tupperware pastry sheet
  • cookie cutters (also vintage from a local antique shop) 
  • French rolling pin ( not that old, but it was birthday gift and believe me, I am 'vintage'!) 
-- and soon I had sugar bunnies, ducks, chickens, & eggs cut out and popped into the oven.  The scent of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon filled my kitchen - just what I needed on a cold dreary day.  For a couple of hours I rolled and cut and baked -- loving every minute.  And, I might have enjoyed a couple of less than perfect sugar cookie eggs - because, who on earth can resist a warm-from-the-oven cookie?  Not me ! 

After cooling, the cookies were packed between layers of wax paper in a large container and stored in the freezer.  This weekend, they will be glazed and 'blinged out' with colorful sprinkles to be enjoyed by family and friends.  And, even if the weather isn't very 'spring like' and the little girls might be wearing winter coats over frilly Easter dresses -- we will still have a little taste of Sweet Spring to enjoy!

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and set aside.  Beat butter, shortening and sugar until creamy; beat in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mixing to for a soft dough.  Form dough into flat disks and wrap in plastic; chill at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days). On a floured surface, roll out dough to thickness of 1/4 inch (keeping remaining dough chilled). Cut out with cookie cutters (2 1/2 inch) on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes for a soft cookie, 8-9 minutes for a crisp cookie.  Transfer to rack and let cool completely before decorating with powdered sugar glaze.  Store in airtight container with wax paper between layers for 2-3 days.  Maybe be frozen up to 3 months.  Yield: 6 dozen

Powdered Sugar Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
2-3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Food coloring to tint glaze
Milk - as needed
Assorted sprinkles

Mix 2 Tbsp of corn syrup & vanilla into powdered sugar, stir until well blended; add food coloring if using.  If glaze is too thick, add a additional corn syrup and a drizzle of milk to thin.  Drizzle or spread on cookies, adding sprinkles before glaze sets.

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