Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Real Deal

After making those pasty store bought cookies, I felt dirty, like I needed to redeem myself with a batch of delicious made from scratch sugar cookies. My mother-in-law passed down her recipe for the sugary cookies and I haven't been able to use any other recipe since. Her's is foolproof and produces the soft cake-like sugar cookies that I love. It is so fun to pass down the recipe to my children who love to help mix, roll, cut out and especially eat the cookie dough scraps. It is only fitting that I would make them for Valentines day and let them pass them around to the neighbors and friends as a token of our friendship. I must say that the kids have a different idea on how the cookies should be decorated. The more frosting and candy coated the better.

Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice added to cream to equal 1 cup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
6 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Cream the butter and sugar together until it turns pale and light and fluffy. In a separate bowl or cup, mix the cream, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract. (The lemon juice will curdle the cream and create a lumpy looking mixture.) In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients with a whisk to combine. With the mixer still running, add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time and mix until well blended. Add the flour and cream mixture alternately to the batter, starting and ending with the flour. Seperate the dough into three discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least an hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to desired thickness. Bake 6-10 minute. Frost and enjoy!

Shiny Cookie Icing

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1/2 tsp. Vanilla (or other extract)
food coloring paste*
2 tsp. light corn syrup

Place sugar, milk, extract and food coloring in bowl. Stir until mixed thoroughly. Add corn syrup and mix well. For filling in areas, use thinned icing (add small amounts or light corn syrup until desired consistency is reached). * to use liquid food coloring substitute it for part of the milk.

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