A Valentine's treat for Allie and me! This sugar cookie recipe is the best- it's my mom's recipe, and she found it in a magazine 30 year ago, originally called "Little Sugar People". Everyone in family uses this recipe for decorated cookies- it's more of a crisp butter cookie than the typical big chewy (super sweet) sugar cookie. Simple and delicious. The dough freezes really well, so I always make the full size recipe, make a fourth of it, and then freeze three more portions for later.
Make about 8 dozen cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teapoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and milk; set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In bowl of a mixer, cream butter until soft. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
4. Add egg mixture in three additions, mixing well and scraping down sides of bowl between additions.
5. Beat in flour on low speed 1/4 cup at a time.
6. Form dough into 4 balls; flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
7. Preheat oven to 375. Roll out dough to 1/4" thick and cut into shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges of cookies are just turning golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
For the icing, I just make an icing from powdered sugar, water, and a little lemon juice. Just stir together 3 cups powdered sugar + 2 1/2 tablespoons water + few drops of lemon juice. For my icing, I usually make a thicker icing, fill my piping bags with some of that, then thin out the leftover icing with a little additional water to make a thinner icing for spreading.
I use thicker icing in a piping bag to outline the shape of the cookie:
Then fill in with thinner icing, using a spatula or knife:
The outline of icing creates a dam, so you end up with nice, neat edges.
For some of the hearts, I did a marbled effect, which looks so pretty and is really easy to do. With the background icing still wet, pipe stripes of a contrasting color on top. Then, run a toothpick back and forth across the stripes.
My finished cookies don't look perfect, since I had my "helper" in the kitchen with me, playing with some mixing bowls and spoons. But, still festive and tasty.
Happy Valentine's Day! I hope yours is a sweet one :)