Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What's up Wednesday--sugar cookies

I have made a lot of sugar cookies in my time.  Valentine's Day is the ultimate sugar cookie holiday for us.  I normally don't make sugar cookies at Christmas, but they are a necessity on Valentine's Day.
Here is the batch I made yesterday for school parties, Ben to take to work, the girls to give to friends, and for us to just eat.  Yum!  These are good to eat plain.  I put the unfrosted leftovers in my freezer, and they disappear very quickly.  
But frosted they are absolutely divine!  This dough is pretty dry and stiff which is a good thing because it allows you to not have to refrigerate the dough before you roll it like many sugar cookies recipes.  That is one reason I love this recipe--you can make it and cut it right after--no waiting.  Because sugar cookies honestly take enough time without refrigerating the dough to get it hard enough to roll and cut.  That being said, you need a stand mixer to make these and be sure and mix them long enough that the dough comes together into a big dough ball.  My daughter was making these and called to me, "something is wrong!"  The dough was all crumbly in the mixer.  I told her she just hadn't mixed it enough.  She turned the mixer back on and in a few more minutes is was perfect.  The cookie recipe is my mom's from when I was growing up.  The frosting recipe is supposedly from the New York Magnolia Bakery, but I can't verify that.  I can verify it is very good.  The key to it is beating it a long time after each addition of powdered sugar.  With both of these recipes, you can easily double them.  The top picture of cookies is 2 recipes of  sugar cookies, and I doubled the frosting to frost all of them.  Happy Sugar Cookies!  Enjoy!

Perfect Sugar Cookies (*makes 24-30 cookies depending upon your cookie cutter size)

1 cup butter, soft
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking powder

Preheat over to 375.  In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar together.  Add egg and mix well.  Add all other ingredients and mix until forms a stiff dough ball.  Roll out on floured surface to 1/4 inch thick--these are best rolled thick!  Then place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 5-6 minutes.  Do not over bake.  These are much better underdone than overdone.  Cool before frosting.

Best Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter, soft
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Beat butter until smooth.  Add 2 cups powdered sugar and mix--this will be dry and crumbly, then add milk and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.  Add in 1 cup of additional powdered sugar at a time beating really well after each cup until it is thick enough to frost. 

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