Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Cookies on a Rainy Spring Day

    Today was the most perfect day for baking cookies. It was raining, and I had been wanting to spend a day in the kitchen for some time now. Being that this is the last weekend before Easter, I figured it was now or never for these cookies.
    Whether you're baking shortbread, gingerbread, or sugar cookies....they're gonna take the better part of the day to make. That's why I waited for a weekend to make them. From start to finish, you are going to need about 5 hours to complete the making of the dough, making and coloring the icing, rolling out and cutting the dough into cookies, baking and cooling the cookies, and then decorating them. It's the perfect way to kill a day where you have nothing else on the agenda....We had a great time together.

Sugar Cookies:

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature or margarine 
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


(1) In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.
(2) In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a bowl and a hand held electric mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).
(3) Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
(4) Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
(5) Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least one hour, or until the dough has become firm enough to roll.

(6) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven.
(7) Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
(8) Remove one half of the dough from the fridge, and on a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter, and transfer cookies onto a prepared cookie sheet.

(9) Place the baking sheets with the cut out cookies on them into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. (This will prevent the cookies from spreading and loosing their shape while baking).
(10) Bake cookie for about 8-10 minutes, depending on their size, or until the edges are just barely starting to brown. (I always cook my cookies for the least amount of time specified by my recipe. For instance, I cooked these for only 8 minutes. Once you remove them from the oven, the internal heat will continue to cook them without drying them out. Resulting in a moist end result).

(11) Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

*This recipe yields 24 Large Cookies.

Confectioners Frosting:


2 cups confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar, sifted)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (margarine will also work well)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
assorted food colors, if desired


(1) In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a bowl and a hand held electric mixer), cream the butter until smooth and blended.
(2) Add the vanilla extract.
(3) With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sifted sugar.
(4) Scrape down the sides of the mixer and the beaters. Beat on high until light and fluffy. 3-4 minutes. (If you find the frosting to be too dry, add a small amout of milk to loosen it, and beat on high for another 30 seconds or so).

Divide the frosting into as many containers as
you want colors.

Remove a small amount of the corner from
as many resealable plastic bags as you have
colors of icing.

Fit each bag with a coupler and various
icing tips. Fill each bag with a different
color icing.

Frost the cookies, and let dry. Place in an
air tight container.

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