Monday, January 3, 2011

Cookies for the New Year

Greetings and happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of friends, family, and love. Although the festivities are over, there's always an occasion to bake cookies. This sugar cookie recipe is one that is close to my heart. It's a simple recipe that my family has been using for a couple of decades. We first discovered it in one of my favorite childhood books - a costume/decoration/cookbook for Halloween. We've used this dough not just for Halloween, but for every holiday. (As you might notice, the Christmas cutters below.)

This isn't your typical sugar cookie. I don't really care for regular sugar cookies that are tough and loaded with extra sugar. This cookie is mild in flavor and has a soft, light texture. They puff just slightly in the oven while baking.

I do love those old-timey cookie cutters. I believe this was a great grandmother's cutter.

This dough doesn't spread too much so you can place them about one inch apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Here are the lightly puffed delights. There is an icing battle in my household. Whenever we take the time to ice them, we have to leave half of them bare. Dad and I prefer them sans icing and my brother and mom like them iced. Again, this cookie dough is great for any occasion: weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, cookie exchanges, and every holiday that a cookie could be involved. Enjoy and best of luck in the new year!

Puffed Sugar Cookies
-1 cup butter
-1 cup sugar
-3 eggs
-1 tsp. vanilla
-3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. baking powder

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, and 1 cup of flour. Mix until combined. Sift together the rest of the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Fold into the wet mixture. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (This part can be done a day in advance.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet (or use parchment paper).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to somewhere between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. *** Cut out dough with cookie cutters of choice and place on baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 min. or until very lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool before icing.

***It's easier to roll out the dough in sections. Divide the dough into quarters. Take out only one quarter at a time and roll it out. Put the scraps back into the fridge while you are rolling out the second quarter. Keep the dough as cold as possible. When it gets to room temperature or warmer, it can become a bakers nightmare. If you divide the dough, touch it as little as possible, and chill the rest, you'll be just fine. Happy baking!

Here's a recipe for simple drizzle icing:
Combine 2 cups of powdered sugar, 3 tbsp. milk, 1 tbsp. melted butter, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, and a few drops of food coloring if desired.


  1. Looks so yummy! I's tough to find a good sugar cookie recipe. I'll have to try these out!

  2. Great! Let me know what you think!