Now that we’ve enjoyed Thanksgiving, we are down to the last holiday (and last month) of the year – Christmas! If you didn’t eat too much during November you will still have space to enjoy more holiday treats for the coming season.
Going back to basics, there is nothing like homemade Sugar Cookies – one of my personal favorites – to put you in the mood for a good book and a glass of milk. Below is my secret recipe for making a batch of the best sugar cookies ever!
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of organic sugar
¼ teaspoon of salt
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla
¼ cup of skim milk
2 teaspoons of baking powder
¼ cup of light corn syrup
Turbinado sugar (for sprinkling)
Organic powdered sugar (for dusting cutting board)
Take the butter out of the refrigerator and place it on the counter to soften to room temperature. If you don’t want to wait, place it in the microwave for 10 – 15 seconds on defrost. While waiting for the butter to soften, measure out the three cups of flour and sift into the bowl. Add salt and baking powder; mix until these ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Place the butter in the mixer bowl and add the sugar, corn syrup, skim milk and vanilla. Mix until the batter is smooth and creamy and there are no lumps. Add the flour mixture to this in thirds until the batter is firm but still soft. Remove the bowl with the batter and place in the refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for an hour.
Now for the fun part! While the dough is chilling you can use your creativity to make some very interesting cookies with unusual cookie cutters (if you want plain round ones, you may simply go along with that). You can choose cookie cutters in the form of gingerbread men, seasonal, holiday shapes or anything you wish.
For a real treat, you can make 3-D animal cookies with special cookie cutters. The packs come with a choice of several animals; all with three to four cutters for the legs, head and body of the animal. They are very simple to assemble and you can purchase them at any art supply store.
When the dough is chilled remove it from the refrigerator and roll it out on a cutting board lightly dusted with organic powdered sugar. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter. If you aren’t the rolling pin type (and I’m not!) form the dough in one inch balls in your hand and place on the cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand so that the cookies don’t rise too high. This is a faster method than using a rolling pin.
Place the cookies in a preheated oven at 375° and bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until slightly brown around the edges. This yields 4 ½ dozen cookies.
This recipe omits eggs all together and is good for people on a low cholesterol diet. Adding milk and corn syrup make the cookies chewy and soft.