Tuesday, December 4, 2012

25 Posts of Christmas...Christmas Tree Cookies

My Aunt Leta is the queen of sugar cookies. If you know her and you've had hers, I bet you think they're the best. I tried and tried and TRIED and TRIED to replicate her recipe and I just couldn't do it. I have FINALLY discovered why. I'm certainly no expert and I'm not claiming that my cookies are as good as hers {they aren't!} but they're pretty darn good and they're at least not spreading all over the pan like they used to! I have a few secrets.

The recipe I've been using is my sweet friend, Meredith's. She posted pictures of cookies for her daughter's birthday party a few months ago and I immediately emailed and asked if she'd share it. I also Googled around and discovered a few tips that were vital for me.

This is a half recipe. I got 30-something cookies last week from the recipe, but they were smaller ones. Meredith suggested halving the recipe because it's easier to handle and it's just worked for me to do it that way so far! Double away if you need to!

3 cups flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add a little at a time to butter mixture.
Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.
If you want to tint your dough, add food coloring now!

Chill for 30 minutes! {This is key!} Set a timer because you don't want it to get too hard.

Roll to desired thickness and cut into shapes you'd like. Bake on ungreased {again, KEY!} baking sheet at 350* for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.

*** You can freeze baked sugar cookies. It's simple to make them in advance and then thaw them on the counter before you ice! ***

*** A greased cookie sheet makes cookies spread. I use an ungreased baking sheet with parchment paper. I've never had problems with cookies sticking and they stay exactly the size {they puff a little up top} they are when you put them in the oven! ***

Now for the icing:

1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 tsp milk
2 tsp light corn syrup
Food coloring

You'll mix the above ingredients and then continue to add milk until it reaches the desired consistency. If it gets too runny, add powdered sugar!

If you want to pipe and flood, I suggest adding meringue powder, too. Bridget at Bake at 350 has a great cookie book out now that's SO helpful for this. I did not pipe last week when I made these. I made the icing thick enough that it didn't run everywhere, but thin enough to spread it. I actually just put a spoonful on each cookie and then tilted the cookie and spread it out with a spoon. I wanted it thick enough where it started to set almost immediately. I had time to ice two cookies and add sprinkles before it began to get too hard for sprinkles to stick. It's sort of trial and error!

Enjoy! If you make any, I'd love to see the finished product!


Julie Rogers said...

Thanks for sharing!!! I'm always looking for a sugar cookie recipe at this time of year---and it's hard to find good ones:)


Lauren said...

YAY! I think I could just use gluten free flour and make these for CT3! I will have to check the stuff in the icing, but I may have to have you over to give me a lesson!