Hey guys! I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend. We finished watching the Packers pull off a win that they nearly blew, and I poured a glass of wine because Heart. Attack. Pack. The Sunday blues are creeping in, and I honestly can’t believe Christmas is in one week. We have almost all of our gifts wrapped and ready to go, just a few more left on the list to pick up this week.
It’s been pretty hard to get into the spirit this year, so I’ve been making all efforts to do EVERYTHING Christmas related. Listening to music, watching movies, tree lit up and fireplace on as much as possible. Oh, and for the 3rd year in a row, I decided to take on sugar cookie cut-outs (also know by some of my family as Mikey boy cookies.) Here’s the thing you guys… I don’t bake. I actually SUCK at baking. I hate the precise measuring, and double checking the recipe and not being able to taste and add “a little extra” of whatever is missing. To those people who are incredible at baking including my mom who shared this recipe with me – you go girl, you have more patience than I.
I LOVE to have cookies at Christmas and tend to be a glutton for punishment so I always try to make them. In the past few years I’ve used internet recipes but this year I decided to bring out the big guns. This recipe has been passed down in my family for many years and if I can ever roll a sugar cookie as thin as my Grandma Martha, I would be shocked. Mom does a pretty fantastic job too – she’s got 30+ of baking experience under her belt, and she’s really, really good at it. I wonder who got that gene, because it wasn’t me….
My sister was at our house over the weekend and enjoyed laughing at me as I completely ruined a ton of the dough, and found myself without the necessary utensils on more than one occasion. So here you go – sugar cookie cut-outs, not for the faint of heart and definitely not for someone with little patience. At least they’re pretty and tasty. ❤
What You Need:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs (at room temp)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water
- 3 cups flour
Cream together butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla (I cracked the eggs into a separate bowl + the vanilla in case I got any shell in.) Sift together flour and cream of tartar. Blend flour mixture into creamed mixture one cup at a time. Add baking soda mixture and blend. Be careful to not over beat here. Chill or freeze.
When you’re ready to bake, break of chunks and roll between layers of waxed paper to desired thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place on baking sheet. Back at 375 for about 6-7 minutes – depends on thickness of cookies.
Remove the cookies to wire racks and when cool, ice with powdered sugar frosting and decorate! Store in airtight container – cookie tins work perfectly.
Butter cream Frosting
Beat 1/3 cup butter and gradually add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar until fluffy. Slowly add 1/4 cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of flavoring – vanilla, lemon, orange, almond extract or anything you choose. I actually used 2 drops of my Young Living Lemon essential oil in place of the extract and it was a delicious substitute.
Tips from my mom: The butter can be cold or room temp, but make sure to beat until creamy. Eggs always at room temp. The colder the dough, the less it sticks. Dip cutters in flour before cutting and dip spatula in flour when transferring to cookie sheet.
Tips from me: Make sure you own a sifter. I did not, and I had to “sift” my flour through our colander… it wasn’t pretty. I also didn’t sift the powdered sugar, resulting in lumps in the frosting. Not a big deal, but kind of unsightly. Also make sure you own a metal spatula – a rubber or plastic one won’t be thin enough to do the trick. Also, keep in mind that this is NOT easy. I tried to roll my dough as thin as possible, and it was basically like torture. It took me a few tries to get the perfect cook time – which (for my thickness) was approximately 8 minutes. I had a verrrrrryyyy differing range in thickness, and would pretty much call it a fail except the cookies are sill damn delicious.