I love to bake, and my husband loves to eat. My favorite thing to bake are cookies. Even on a rainy day, cookies fill my house with sunshine! For years, I have tried--and failed--at sugar cookies. They were either too crunchy, or too sticky when I tried to roll it out. But alas, I found the perfect recipe for fluffy, soft sugar cookies that are super easy to make from www.peppermintplum.blogspot.com.
Here's what you'll need:
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
5 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream (the secret ingredient)
Combine salt, baking soda, and flour in a mixing bowl. Set aside...you'll need it later. In your awesome Kitchen Aid mixer, cream butter and sugar. Then add the eggs and vanilla, and finally the sour cream. (Honestly, what was the world like before the Kitchen Aid mixer?)
Grab the bowl with the flour mixture and slowly add it to the cream mixture. Key word: SLOWLY, unless you like to look like Martha Washington after you cook, then you may add it all at once. And just warning you, this dough is delicious. Try to save some for the cookies.
Lay out wax paper on your counter top, and here's a helpful hint: spray it with non-stick cooking spray, then dust it with flour. The spray will help the flour stick to the wax paper. Genius, huh? Grab about a fourth of the dough, sprinkle the top with flour, and roll with a rolling pin. You'll want to roll it out to about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.
Yes, tomorrow is Valentine's Day so I did hearts...awwwww!
NOTICE: the uncooked cookies are on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Always cook your cookies on wax paper. I also spray the wax paper with non-stick cooking spray so I am 100% positive they will not stick.
Bake these babies at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. They will not look done, but take them out anyway. Do not cook them until they are golden! They should not be brown anywhere.
Let cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. If you wait longer, they will stick.
Now for the fun part...ICING!
Check out these nifty little things:
My mom found these at Crate and Barrel, and OMG they are awesome! Just take the lid off, fill with icing, choose the tip you want, and VIOLA! (I know my friend and fellow baker, Trish, is foaming at the mouth right now! Trish, you gotta get these!) You can find them at http://www.crateandbarrel.com/kitchen-and-food/measure-mix-bake/leaf-tip-squeeze-bottle/s311076
I like icing that dries so that I can put the cookies in cute little bags or stack them in a Tupperware container. So there's the 411 on the icing:
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
food coloring of your choice
Beat all ingredients well. The icing will be very stiff. I added milk until I got the consistency I wanted. Then poor it into your nifty icing applicators. First, outline the outside of the cookie. This acts as a ledge so that when you fill in the middle, it won't drip off the sides. Next, put some icing in the middle. Using the back of a spoon, smooth it out evenly. Let the icing dry for about 30-45 minutes.
Every kid in my daughter's class got 2 cookies with their initial. It's simple. It's cute. It's yummy.
So I'm sending you on your way, my friend. Bake, decorate, eat, repeat. Don't forget your shades because the sun will surely shine on you!