12/11/08

8 Super Soft Sugar Snowflake Cookies

Snowflake Soft Sugar CookieIt's only *gasp* two weeks till Christmas and I have been thinking of snowflakes. More importantly, sugar cookie snowflakes.


Everyone has their favorite sugar cookie recipe. Some people like thin, crispy, buttery cookies. Others like thick, soft cookies. I like them both, but this is the recipe that my mother used and I use for my family. Keep the tradition. Keep the memories.

Put 1 1/2 c. sugar and 1 c. shortening in mixing bowl.











Add eggs and mix well. Look at that color!











Meanwhile, put 1 t. soda in 1/4 c. hot water. Stir till dissolved. Pour in with egg/shortening mixture. Sorry, I forgot to take a photo. I got excited....

Measure 1 c. milk.







Put your dry ingredients in a bowl. When measuring the flour, I use the stir scrape method. I 'swirl' my measuring cup in the flour to lighten it and scrape the top with the flat edge of a table knife. Then add baking powder and salt.








Now, alternate your milk with your dry ingredients.
This means a little milk, mix well; a little bit of flour, mix well; and repeat till all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed in. Kind of like lather, rinse, repeat.








This is what it should look like. Oh, I forgot to put the vanilla in!
Should have put that in with the eggs, but don't worry, it's fine.








Now put plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and let that baby rest in the fridge for at least an hour...time to give yourself a break!

(Check out my newest trick for perfectly rolled 1/4" cookies...every time! )



Flour a clean surface and plop down half of your dough. Smooth it out with your hands and form a small disc.

You may have to pick it up to make sure you have enough flour under your dough. Remember that you don't want to add too much flour which will make your cookies heavier.







Roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness. I don't measure. I just eyeball it. Looks good!









Now comes a fun part. Dip your cookie cutter in flour and cut your rolled out dough. If you are lucky enough to have it stick to the cutter, gently shake it onto your greased baking sheet.
If not, slide a thin metal spatula and gently lift cut cookie onto baking sheet.



I found a darling 5" snowflake cookie cutter. I found out that I had to press firmly with both hands to ensure that I cut all the way around.

If you are trying this recipe for the first time, I suggest that you use a simple design to help with the transfer to the baking sheet.



(or...check out this tip for ROUND COOKIES: you can use a cookie scoop...just flatten the tops with a floured drinking glass...so easy!)

Roll up the scraps and put them in plastic wrap and put in the fridge. We want this to stay cold for easier rolling and cutting!

Repeat with other half of dough. Put scraps together with 1st heap of scraps. Roll, cut, scrap, repeat!




Bake until they are very light in color and not brown. You can test the cookie by touching it lightly. If an indentation stays, you need to bake for 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully! They can over brown in less than a minute.

Oh, look how cute! Don't worry about the fold lines...that one was made from scraps and will be frosted soon.....unless...you want to eat it without frosting....they're good that way, too!


Look how nice and golden brown it is on the bottom. Oh, and NEVER put cookie dough on a HOT baking sheet (they will over bake)....I put my hot cookie sheets in the cold air for a couple of minutes to cool down.

Now here's a fun part. Put on some Christmas music. Get the kids to help. It's time to decorate them!

I found this mini Wilton squirt decorating bottle for less than a dollar at our local craft store. I just squirt the frosting on and spread, spread, spread. Looking good so far...I let them dry before putting on the decorative lines on top and then sprinkle with some colored sugar sprinkles.




















Sugar Cookie Tips
AMAZING FROSTING BAG TIP!  easy fill, change colors, etc.

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Soft Sugar Cookies
INGREDIENTS 
1 ½ c. sugar
1 c. shortening
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 t. soda
¼ c. hot water
1 c. milk
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
5 c. flour (stir and level w/knife)

INSTRUCTIONS 

Mix shortening and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix completely. Dissolve soda in hot water. Pour into mixture, blending well.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate milk with dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly each time.
Cover and chill at least an hour.

**Roll out on floured surface ¼” thick and cut into desired shapes. Place on greased baking sheet.

Bake in 375° oven for 7-10 minutes until set, but not overly brown. (Touch tops with finger; if indent stays, bake 1-2 min. more) **Can use med. cookie scoop; flatten tops w/floured drinking glass to make quick round cookies with no rolling!
 

Buttercream Frosting
From Better Homes & Gardens
INGREDIENTS 
1 ½ c. sugar
1 c. shortening
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 t. soda
¼ c. hot water
1 c. milk
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
5 c. flour (stir and level w/knife)

INSTRUCTIONS 

Mix shortening and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix completely. Dissolve soda in hot water. Pour into mixture, blending well.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate milk with dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly each time.
Cover and chill at least an hour.

Sugar Cookie Glaze
From:  Mary Jarvis, Bakers C&C
This is a smooth frosting that looks like a glaze, but pipes well for simple decorations.
INGREDIENTS
2 ½ c. powdered sugar
3 T. water
1 T. butter
2 T. corn syrup
½ t. vanilla or almond extract
¼ t. salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Combine ingredients in mixer bowl and mix until smooth and shiny. Place in decorator bag or squirt bottle and pipe onto cookies.
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