Monday, December 24, 2012

Sugar Cookies

There are so many traditions and fun activities to do during the holidays, but my favorite one of all is making cookies, specifically cookie cutter cookies.  Every holiday season my mom and I would transform the kitchen into cooking baking central where we would mix, frost, decorate, and best of all, sneak bites of cookie dough in between batches.  As an adult, holiday cookie baking has looked different for me every year. Some years I have made them at my mom's house or sadly made them on my own when we were living in San Diego (although that's not as fun, but can be made more joyful by blasting the Christmas music while baking) and one year I even got Nick to make cookies with me. Last year my friend Chelsea and her baby came over to bake with B and I:

Aren't they the cutest in their matching bib & apron!
Baya did a lot of tasting, but very little baking!

This year seemed a little more special than others.  The reason... 2 year old B is able to actually bake with me.  She has been helping me "make cookies" for a few months now and it warms my heart every time.  She gets her measuring cup and teaspoon and bowl and big spoon and she "mixes" her ingredients while I'm mixing mine.  She even sneaks bites of her cookie dough (which I woudn't recommend since I only give her the dry ingredients).

Before we started the cookie cutter process, we needed to make the dough and let it chill overnight in the fridge.

Making cookies is serious business!

2 year old B had to be sure she was wearing the proper attire.

This apron and hat were made by a teacher I used to work with.  She makes the most beautiful and adorable kitchen clothing and makes sure that all of us teachers with kids have matching bibs and aprons (see the photo of Chelsea above).

Baby M helped pick out which cookie cutters we were going to use.

Then it was time to start baking!  The girls and I spent the afternoon with my mom, friend Patsy, and even my dad took part in the decorating and frosting cookies.

The first step was to roll out the dough and cut out the cookies.

2 year old B quickly got tired of cutting out the cookies and enjoyed decorating the cookies much more.

Did I say decorating cookies?  I meant pouring decorations on the cookies.

Here is her very green and very sprinkled tree.

Even baby M tried to get in on the cookie decorating.

We decorated half the cookies and baked them and the other half we baked without decorations so we could frost them.  2 year old B chose 2 cookies that she frosted to death.  One for daddy and one for mommy... so sweet!

That's not chocolate frosting... Apparently B is into mixing colors!

Somebody learned how to sneak licks of frosting very quickly.

Everyone has their own favorite sugar cookie recipe.  Here is mine.

1 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flower

1. beat together butter & sugar
2. add the egg
3. first mix the sour cream and baking soda, then add to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture
4. add the baking powder and flour
5. the dough gets dry by the end so you will need to hand knead it to make sure it is all mixed together
6. wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight
7. bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, but don't over bake them or you will have hard cookies and those never taste quite right

P.S. I don't save cookie cutter cookies just for the holidays.  One year I made special cookies for a few of my friends for a girls night.  Check out the martini glasses, red heel, and wedding dress for that bride-to-be:

Merry Christmas everyone!

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