Friday, December 26, 2014

Sugar Cookies!

When the kiddos have parties in their classrooms at school, I generally try to sign up to bring the cookies.  Besides the fact that I have a baking compulsion, I also prefer to ensure that my kids eat homemade cookies, not random store-bought cookies with strangely colored icing or other yuckiness.  This year was no different, other than the fact that since the clever boy is now in a Mother's Day Out program one day a week, I had two class parties to deal with - his and the clever girl's!  I thought sugar cookies would be the best plan - what kid doesn't like sugar cookies??

Now, I have found that sugar cookies can be a hard recipe to perfect.  Not that they are difficult to make, but that many recipes are just not what I want.  They are too crispy, too soft, too sweet, too....  You get the picture! This year I turned to my trusty Baking: From My Home to Yours cookbook, as I knew Dorie would not steer me wrong.  And she didn't!  Mmmm.  These cookies are the perfect sugar cookie in my opinion.  They are crisp on the outside but just a little soft on the inside.  They are buttery and delicious.  I did not want to do actual cut-outs with cookie cutters (even though I have a ginormous quantity of cookie cutters, especially Christmas ones).  To expedite things, I rolled the dough into a log and did slice-and-bake cookies.  Before slicing, I rolled the logs in Christmas sprinkles so the edges would be nice and festive, and I'd still have a nice surface for sprinkling vanilla sugar when they came out of the oven.  I did change one thing in Dorie's recipe, in that I added 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.  I just like that flavor, especially when combined with vanilla.  But you could leave it out if you wanted!  You could add some lemon or orange zest, or nuts or something too, or just leave them plain!  Because even if they are plain, they will make you smile!  Yum. 
You can find this recipe here, on Dorie's blog.  And it's in Baking: From My Home to Yours on pages 146-147.  It is a great baking book, if you have a desire to bake more!  I made a double batch of cookies and ended up with 85.  My logs were about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter, I think.  These are easy, and if you do the slice-and-bake method, they are fast (except for the chilling time).  And a definite winner!  Even the teachers remarked about how delicious the cookies were! 

Any Christmas baking in your plans this year??

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