Is there anything more nausalicious, more sickeningly addictive than frosted sugar cookies? I don't think so.
We do cut-out cookies twice a year...at Halloween and Valentines time. And it takes a few months to recover in between. Because the mess makes me just as queasy as eating my required baker's dozen.
Still, I hope the tradition continues.
So, here is some advice for posterity...hopefully all future-cookie-bakers. Here's my secret. Divide the labor over three days.
- First day, mix up the cookie dough. Then chill until you're ready to face it again. (The dough can sit in the fridge for up to a week!)
- Roll out and cut the cookies on the second day. This is the messiest day...so be sure you've had a good night sleep and a feel-good beverage nearby (nonalcoholic, of course). Save cooled cookies in an airtight container until you are ready for step 3.
- Decorate! Go crazy! Do this on a day when you don't have anything planned for dinner, because no one's going to eat much anyway.
- Wrap up and deliver to friends and neighbors....if you have leftovers, that is.
After trying multiple sugar cookie recipes...this one is my absolute fave:
Cream 2 sticks soft butter with 2 & 1/2 cups sugar. Beat 3 eggs and add to creamed mixture. Add 1 cup thick sour cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Sift in 4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 2 teaspoons cream of tartar. Sprinkle in a pinch of nutmeg. Turn out onto a floured countertop and knead in another 1/2 cup to 1 cup of flour. Roll into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill overnight. Next day, roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Cool, frost and decorate.