My children are getting to the age where they can bake on their own. One of my daughters loves icing a lot so she decided to try making my favourite iced sugar cookie recipe because it had icing.
The first time I helped her bake them she realized that she loved the raw dough just as much as any icing. She also realized that icing the cookies was a lot of work.
The next time she decided to make the cookies she just dumped everything into the mixer bowl and turned it on. The dough was a little lumpy, but she thought it tasted fine – after a dozen or so “samples” before it was baked. I think only a few of those cookies actually got iced.
Another time, we divided the dough into different balls and mixed in food colouring. Then we made small balls of each colour, pressed them together and then rolled them out into snake shapes and coiled them into pinwheels. Those “Dr. Seuss” cookies didn’t even need icing, they were so pretty on their own!
My daughter has made the cookies many other times since then and some of them never even made it to the oven. One time she wrapped the whole ball of dough in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge, claiming that she wanted it for a school project to represent a liver. Naively I allowed her to do this, but realized after a couple of days that it kept shrinking… it never actually made it to class. Apparently it ended up in her stomach, not at her desk.
I have had to ban her from making the cookies unless she promises to bake them, now. This seems to have curbed her desire to make them, slightly.
I personally love these cookies because they can fit any occasion – all you have to do is get the right cookie cutter. I’ve made everything from hearts for Valentines Day, to bunnies for Easter. And although icing them can take more time than baking them, the icing can set overnight and by morning you can pack them up and not worry about them sticking together in the container. If you’re really concerned that they not stick (if it’s humid, perhaps), you can put layers of wax paper or parchment between to prevent sticking.
I also find that they are very tender as long as you don’t over-bake them. (something my daughter hasn’t experienced yet!) All you need is a light golden colour on the edge. You can experiment with your oven and see how many minutes it takes to get them just how you like them.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 ½ cups icing sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 2 cups icing sugar
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 2 TBSP water
- Food colouring
- In large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar and mix into butter mixture.
- Chill dough until easy to handle. (If your kitchen is cooler, this might not be necessary. If it's the middle of summer or very hot in the kitchen, this will be needed.)
- Roll dough on floured surfact to ¼” thick.
- Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheets. Use a spatula to reach under and lift cookies onto pan if they are sticking to the rolling surface.
- Bake at 375°F for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned underneath.
- Remove to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Combine frosting ingredients and frost cookies using a butter knife or spatula. Allow to sit overnight for frosting to harden.
- Store in an airtight container. Can be frozen.
- Doubles well.
- Yield depends on size of cookies. I average 3-4 dozen cookies per batch if they are 2" round, 2-3 dozen if larger.