Friday, December 17, 2010

Vanilla Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

'Tis the season! Tomorrow, we are having a hot cocoa party at work. Everyone is encouraged to bring a treat to share. I decided that I'd bake up some good Vanilla Sugar Cookies! My mom made these cookies every year when I was young. We'd make them for Christmas and Valentine's Day. So much fun! The cookies are super soft and the buttercream frosting is to die for! I remember that we'd have to make a double batch of frosting and give the extra to our neighbor, Annie. She'd eat the frosting by the spoonful. :)

I got the idea for the Reindeer Cookies from a Martha Stewart web page. I made them using the gingerbread man cookie cutter! The face is chocolate frosting, the nose is a red-hot, and the eyes are white chocolate chips dipped in chocolate frosting. Cute, eh?

I just love snowmen. They are one of my favorite winter things. These little guys have mini m&ms for eyes, and a combo of mini m&ms and red hots for buttons. Snowflakes are fun to decorate as well. The sugar makes them sparkle!

Some stars and Stockings...
Candy canes and stockings. The frosting I was using for the stripes was a bit tricky to work with.

Arranged on a platter, they look pretty good! Here are the stars, trees, stockings and reindeer.

And my FAVORITE photo of the cookies-- candycanes, snowmen and snowflakes. :)
Please enjoy these treasured family recipes!
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
1 cup shortening (do not use butter flavored)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups sugar
2 lg eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 cups all purpose flour
1. Cream shortening, sour cream, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and blend well. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
2. Whisk the baking powder and salt into the all purpose flour, then slowly add to the sour cream mixture, a cup at a time, beating well after each addition. The dough will be very stiff, but shouldn't be crumbly. I like to add just 1/2 cup at a time after I've added about 3/4th of the flour. Pat dough into a container, cover with a lid, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or at least overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
4. Cut the dough into 4 sections and roll one section at a time on a well floured surface to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Place the dough in the fridge when not being rolled. Use 3-5 inch cookie cutters to cut the cookies and carefully place on the cookie sheets. If the dough sticks to the counter, use some unflavored dental floss to slide underneath the dough (between the dough and the counter).
5. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes-- do not overbake or the cookies will be dry. The cookies should be barely lightly browned on the bottom. Let stand in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove the whole sheet of parchment to a wire cooling rack.
6. Store in an airtight container on the counter to keep the cookies soft. Frost when cooled to room temperature.
Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar
3 to 5 Tbsp Milk
1. Cream butter and shortening in a stand mixer or with electric mixer until well blended, stopping to scrape down the bowl a few times. Add in vanilla and mix well.
2. Add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time, beating well with each addition. After adding the 3rd cup, add a Tbsp of milk. Alternate the sugar and milk until all the sugar is added. Add an additional 1 to 2 Tbsp milk if needed to reach spreading consistency.
3. For cookies, remove a couple scoops to a smaller bowl for coloring if desired. Be sure to stir well after the addition of food coloring to ensure a streak-free frosting.
This frosting may be spread on top of cookies or placed in a pastry bag for piping onto the cookies. Finish decorations with candy and sprinkles. Let sit out for a few hours or overnight before stacking in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper for storage.

1 comment:

Amy @DYKTMP? said...

I definitely need some chocolate when I'm feeling low so the recipe was perfect. Thanks so much for the kind words and the recipe. I also hope things work out for the best.