Thursday, May 2, 2013

Crisp Sugar Cookies

Crisp Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles
Crisp Sugar Cookies with Frosting (recipe at the bottom)
Today I was previewing some vocabulary with my kindergarten students. One of the picture cards had these frosted star shaped sugar cookies. They reminded me of these cookies a fellow English teacher made me when I worked at Milwaukie High School in Milwaukie, Oregon. (Yeah, I've been around the teaching block.) On Valentine's Day, I went to my teacher's mailbox and found a heart shaped frosted sugar cookie, wrapped carefully in red cellophane. It made my day. It might have been the best sugar cookie I've ever eaten. I think it was just made from Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough and frosted with canned frosting, but that simple cookie fed not only my tummy that day, it fed my soul. I can't explain it, but it was significant. Maybe it's just the foodie in me. Maybe it was just what I needed at that moment in my life.
At any rate, I decided this morning, as I sat with my sweet kindergarteners, that I would make some frosted sugar cookies. I've used this cookie recipe before to make Colorful Sugar Cookies, but I didn't want to go to all that trouble if I was only going to frost them. Then I thought I might as well make some with sprinkles because, as I've mentioned recently, I have a huge jar of them burning a hole in my cupboard. 
These cookies don't have to be crisp, but today that's how I baked them. If you want them softer, I'd recommend checking on them at 13 minutes. Once they're puffed and starting to brown on the edges, they're probably going to cool down nice and soft. I really do think this recipe turns out cookies that taste like the Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies, which I really like. Like I said, that heart shaped cookie fed my soul. These still do.

Crisp Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles

· Preheat oven to 325°F.
· Cream butter and sugar.
· Add vanilla and egg. 
· Sift dry ingredients together and add to mixture.  Mix completely, but take care not to over mix.
· Divide dough in half and form each half into a log and wrap in parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
· Carefully pour enough nonpareils onto a plate to make a single layer. Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices. Press one side of each circle of dough into the sprinkles and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, sprinkle side up.
· Fill the pan up, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between cookies. Bake at 325°F for 16-18 minutes, or until cookies are a light golden brown almost all over.
· Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • food coloring
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter. Add powdered sugar and stir to incorporate sugar with the butter. Once incorporated, you can beat until creamy. Add vanilla and 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream. Beat until smooth and spreadable. Add more cream if you want it looser. Add food coloring, mix, and then spread as much as you like onto the cookies. If you like a lot of frosting, you may need to make more than this. Sprinkle with nonpareils, if desired.

Use the edge of a sheet pan to smoosh the dough
in the paper so it's an evenly shaped log.

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