I am always looking for simple, delicious recipes to cook with my kids. This traditional sugar cookie recipe fits the bill. You can buy cookie cutters inexpensively and for just about any occasion.As you know, I’m on a mission to get organized, so I can spend more time with my kids and less time managing clutter. One of the things that happens when you start getting organized, is you realize what you are missing. Like cookie cutters. Just so you know…Playdough cookie cutters work too;) In fact, you don’t even need cookie cutters at all! You can use a round glass or get creative and trace your child’s hands with a butter knife. This recipe is so simple my 15-year-old daughter managed the whole activity. All I did was take pictures!
First you make the dough, cover it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for at least two hours. Try and flatten it as much as possible. When you get it out of the fridge and cut it in half the dough is pretty hard. Looking back, this wasn’t the best shape…
After you divide the dough, roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thick round circle. You don’t want any cracks. It will look like this…
You are finally ready to let the kids cut them out!
We picked out the shapes and re-used the dough, twice. I used a thin metal spatula and put them on Silpat mats on a baking sheet. (If you don’t have Silpat mats, you might want to invest in them. They are relatively inexpensive, keep the cookies from sticking, and help them cook even.)
The next part the kids absolutely loved. We made colored sugar for the top. All you do is put a couple of tablespoons of sugar in a Ziploc bag. Knead the sugar and food coloring, until you don’t have any lumps and the color is evenly distributed. Landon wanted to make purple so he combined red and blue. He was so excited when it worked! I guess there is never to much of a good thing;)
Unless it is 9:00 at night and your kids just ate sugar cookies caked with sugar. Then it is too much of a good thing. I digress.
They turned out beautiful and, thankfully, some of the sugar fell off.
Here is the recipe for perfect cut-out sugar cookies!
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened. Hint: "softened" butter is butter that is left at room temperature for 30- 45 minutes. Perfectly softened butter is soft but leaves a perfect indention when touched but still holds its shape.
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 egg
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- In large bowl, beat the powdered sugar, softened butter, vanilla, almond extract, and egg on medium speed on mixer, or with a spoon until blended. Stir in dry ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Heat oven to 375. Lightly grease a cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper, or use a Silpat Mat.
- Divide dough in half. Roll each half until a ¼ inch thick. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. You can take the scraps from the dough, form a ball, and re-use the dough.
- Place on cookie sheets (before baking put colored sugar on, if desired.)
- Bake 8 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks.
- Colored sugar: place desired amount of granulated sugar in a Ziploc bag. Place several drops of liquid food coloring into bag. Seal bag. Squeeze and rub bag between your fingers, until food coloring becomes evenly colored. Repeat to darken color. Colored sugar can be combined to make new colors. Ex. Red and blue make purple!