No, I did not make these cookies.
For help improving my cut-out skills I went to the denison of decorating, the big-shot of baking, the Lady Gaga of culinary cookie arts... my sister-in-law, Leslie. Every Christmas
she shows up at our family gatherings with trays of fun and festive sugar cookies, decorated to perfection. I'm talking stripes, dots, squiggles - she can do it all. The cookies are thin yet not too crisp, slightly brown on the bottom, smooth on
the top, and the shapes are cut to perfection.
When asked about her baking prowess, Leslie, in her humble fashion, taunted me by sending the recipe and telling me that
she baked them with her daughter and others every year because it was "fun." For example, the cookies in the picture are from a year when Leslie and her daughter paid homage to the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies, as well as the country of Ghana
where her daughter was headed to work for the Peace Corps.
Fun? You've got to be kidding me. Which part of this process is the most fun? Wiping
the layer of flour off of each cookie because you put too much on the board when you were rolling them? Or perhaps it is prying them off of the counter with a spatula because you didn't ues enough flour? Oh, I know, it's standing
over the entire tray that you let get obnoxiously brown because you were folding laundry or letting the dogs out or whatever and you forgot that they were in the oven because heaven forbid you would need to use a timer... who needs to use a timer?
Wait, wait, I know what the most fun is. Trying to use a piping bag that you bought at Michaels in the cake decorating section with a little metal end that doesn't have a big enough opening and then the frosting starts squirting out of the top of
the bag because you thought it would be ok to just fold it down. YES! That must be it.
Please excuse my snarky comments, but I just don't think I have it in
me to do this right. I will let you in on a little secret. I did, in fact, make Leslie's cut-out recipe. They were passable. The dough tasted delicious. I ate a large portion of it while it was chilling in
the fridge. It rolled and cut well, and I didn't even burn one batch. However, it was evident by the way the cookies looked as they cooked that I had not put enough flour in them. Ok, so I was in a hurry and I kind of eye-balled the flour.
FATAL MISTAKE! I have realized that you should beat as much flour into a dough that you intend to roll and cut as you can. That's what makes for the smooth, firm cookie. At least follow the recipe accurately. Also, I have come to the
conclusion that my cookies will forever be glazed or I will simply frost them with delicious cream cheese frosting from the can. End of story.
Cookies (Leslie's Mother-in Law)
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
Cream butter, sugar and eggs. When
smooth add vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in a seperate bowl. Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients a bit at a time, alternating with the milk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (Try to not eat all of
Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
Mix powdered sugar and butter on low speed in electric mixer bowl. Stir in vanilla or other flavoring and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Gradually beat in just enough remaining
milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable.