I LOVE cookies. .. I could be the cookie Monster. Especially when it comes to decorated Sugar Cookies. I have been making these for over 40 years. I made them for my children when they were growing up and now make them for my grandchildren. I try to make them for each occasion during the year and on their birthdays. The children have always loved helping me make these.
I remember baking cookies with my mother from the time I was a very young girl. This is one of the special memories I wanted to create with my own children and grandchildren. One of my grandchildren, a 4 year old who lives in Denver, has even called me to say “Honey,the cookies are gone” That means I need to get a box in the mail! When I visit them we do make cookies too.
I have used this recipe for about 35 years and find it to be fool-proof. You can create these special cookies for any event just by purchasing a cookie cutter or being creative and designing your own cookie shapes. I find most of my cookie cutters at Craft 2000 or www.coppergifts.com. My tips are to use the metal or copper cookie cutters and to use only the best ingredients. I always use my baking stones, they keep the bottoms from becoming too dark and the cookies remain softer. If you do use metal cookie sheets, line with parchment paper. Another good tip I recommend is to use the Wilton Coloring Paste when coloring the icing. I use a toothpick or the end of a small plastic knife to add the coloring to icing bowls. When I am preparing the icing, I divide it out into heavy disposable bowls and use plastic silverware . EASY CLEAN-UP!
Please see a few pictures of some of the cookies I have made and try this great recipe
1 cup butter, softened (Land O Lakes Unsalted Butter)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour for dusting
2 lb bag confectioner sugar
1/3 cup solid shortening (Crisco)
food coloring paste
sprinkles/other decorative candies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. ( I use baking stones)
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on a medium speed ,beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and combine well. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, beating only enough to combine. Shape dough into a ball, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Place the remaining flour into a small bowl. Sprinkle some of the flour onto a flat work surface. Scoop out about 3 tablespoons of the dough and place on surface. Dip cookie cutters and small rolling pin into the bowl of flour. Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out the cookies and place on baking sheets. Continue to cut out all of the cookies, re-rolling the pieces of dough.
Bake about 10 minutes or until cookies are light golden brown around the edges. Remove baking sheets from oven and allow to set 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack.
To make the frosting, place the confectioner sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening and 1/4 cup water. Slowly beat together on the lowest speed of mixer. Add additional water a tablespoon or 2 at a time and increase speed on the mixer. Beat until smooth.
Divide icing into separate small bowls. Using a toothpick or end of a plastic butter knife, add the coloring paste to each bowl. If icing is too thick, add drops of water and stir to desired consistency; if too thin, add small amounts of confectioner sugar. Decorate cookies as desired.
Place some of the icing in pastry bags also to decorate cookies.