Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Sugar Cookies

This is a re-post from just a few weeks ago.
I wish I'd had time to bake a batch of these cookies yesterday so I could show them to you decorated in Christmas theme - but I didn't :(
Still, I know sugar cookies are a big deal at Christmas and since these are the BEST sugar cookies of all time, I thought a re-post would be okay :)

I’m president of the SPO this year at my daughters school (it’s their PTA – just a different acronym.)
Anyway, we were in a meeting, planning the next several parent events we’ll be hosting and discussing food options. The general thought was that cookies were fine for afternoon activities, but for morning we should have something fruity/healthy and for evenings something savory.
MY opinion was slightly different. I will eat a cookie anytime.
Seriously – any.time. Wake me up from a dead sleep at 2am with a freshly baked cookie and I will thank you politely – then ask for more.
About a year ago I discovered a local bakery that makes the most amazing sugar cookies. Normally I’m not a sugar cookie fan. Give me peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip…throw as many extra ingredients in as you can. But sugar cookies? Boring!
These ones, however, are like heaven. Heaven with a touch of almond extract. Heaven with a texture that’s almost a cross between cookie-like and bread-like, with a thick layer of butter cream frosting that also has a touch of almond extract in it. If God eats cookies, (and I’m sure that he does!) then these are one of his favorites.
I spent a small fortune over a few weeks buying these cookies as rewards for myself. Rewards (?) you wonder? Yeah. It was like those Arctic Circle commercials – cookies were a reward for anything – cleaning the house, going to the gym, volunteering at school…
Unfortunately the cookies cost $1.75 each.
I’m not kidding. Ridiculous, right? But sooooo tasty…
So I began a mission to recreate the cookies. First I dreamed of things I could tell the head baker to make her give me the recipe, but abandoned that when I actually pictured myself making that phone call.
Instead, I made about 8 batches of sugar cookies, experimenting with different recipes until I finally got it right. I was hoping that by mastering them I would break their hold over me. Alas, that has not been the case. Still, at least now I can more than one without dipping into my savings account!
I made some last weekend and decorated them cute to take to a friends house. Look at that yumminess!

Now – when you make these (because you WILL make them, won’t you?) be sure to put a THICK layer of frosting on. Because the frosting is to die for.
Mandy’s Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
dash salt
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and extracts, then dry ingredients. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, then roll out between wax paper with plenty of flour to about 1/3 inch thick. Cut into shapes. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Cookies will NOT be colored on top when they are done, but will be light golden on bottom.
Cool completely, then frost.
Mandy’s Best Buttercream
1/4 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar (appr.)
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp hot water
Beat until fluffy – continue adding sugar and water until frosting reaches desired consistency.

Look! I found a picture of what yours might look like, if you made them with Christmas cookie cutters...and had mad decorating skillz.
Go check things out to see some great Holiday recipes!


Gina Sisco said...

Oh Moody Girl cant wait to try these. I am a sugar cookie freak and have been on the hunt for the "ultimate recipe". I have one that is really close to this, but doesnt combine the almond and the vanilla, I am so excited to try them, knowing I will probably eat the whole batch myself!!

Rhonda said...

I was planning on making sugar cookies this month. I'm so glad I waited. Now I have this recipe to try! Thank you!

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