Yes, I have sugar cookie righteousness. I make REALLY good sugar cookies. Not bragging (well, maybe a little), but they're so good. Yes, I will give you the recipe (which is just the Southern Living recipe), but YOU MUST FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS PRECISELY OR IT WILL NOT WORK. YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE BEST SUGAR COOKIES IN THE LAND IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW MY DIRECTIONS EXACTLY. Okay, so in a minute...
It is a tradition in our house to make pumpkin shaped sugar cookies (BEST IN THE LAND!!!!- sorry), dip them in Royal Icing, and then allow children to decorate them with Jack o'lantern faces. We did this on Monday night, in between work, school, homework, dinner, and Christmas choir practice (why, yes, I AM crazy busy! how did you know?) Well, this year, to make things CRAZY interesting, I acquired a ghost cookie cutter and I allowed the children to do both. SO CUTE. The boys had a great time rolling out the dough and cutting their cookies and then (because I had to skip off to choir) Quinn helped them with their Jack o'lantern faces.
Nice, wholesome, October fun!
Here's the recipe for the cookies (with my neurotic instructions included, of course):
Classic Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, softened (must use real butter- I will hunt you down if you don't)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg and vanilla, beating well. Gradually (important) add flour and salt, beating until well blended. Divide dough in half; cover and chill 1 hour.
Roll each portion of dough to 1/3 to 1/2 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with desired cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheet.
(THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART) Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. The cookies WILL NOT LOOK DONE. You will say to yourself, "they are not done." But they ARE done. They just don't look it. Trust me, "not-looking-done" is part of the perfect cookie. Cook cookies for a minute on sheet, then place on wire racks to cool completely. After cookies cool, then you will want to dip them in Royal Icing, which is as follows:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp meringue powder (hard to find-try baking/cooking stores)
5 to 6 tbsp warm water
1 tsp light corn syrup
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Beat at medium-low speed with an electric mixer. The original directions call for you to do this for 5 to 7 minutes, but I only do it for a couple of minutes, then dip the cookies, face down, in the icing so that the surface of the cookie is smooth for decorating. If you'd like, separate the icing into different bowls and tint the icing with different colors. I like to do the base coat in a solid color, and then let the boys go at the cookies with small paint brushes or toothpicks. They have a ball.
The next morning, we packed a ghost cookie up for the boys' teachers and a note calling them "bootiful" and sent them on their way. What a nice kiss-up family we are.