I’ve finally done it! I’ve FINALLY found a sugar cookie recipe that actually tastes good and holds its shape! I still haven’t found one that makes me like decorating them but there’s hope (maybe) for future years. I usually default to making extra-yummy-tasting ones but then they turn into blobs when I bake them, no matter how much chilling. (You can find those previous recipes here and here). I’ve tried recipes that hold their shape beautifully but taste like cardboard. No one wants that either.
Saurus: Mama!! We’re out of cookies!
Me: How are we out of cookies?? There were 4 dozen!
Saurus/Husband/Little Fox: guilty faces
Me: Ugh. You know I hate making sugar cookies.
Saurus: I’ll make them!
Husband: I’ll decorate them!
Me: Sigh. Alright.
So the boys and I made the cookies one afternoon. Little fox insisted on helping. Which really meant putting his finger in the middle of all of the cookies, eating handfuls of dough at every opportunity, and stamping his snowman cookie cutter directly on top of Saurus’ carefully cut out shapes:
Saurus: My brother keeps ruining the cookies!
Me: I’m sorry, honey. He wants to do the cookies too and be just like you. I’ll help him learn to understand rules and obey but you be a good example for him to follow, okay?
Saurus: Okay. I’ll try. I love my brother, even when his cute little chubby hands ruin everything.
Little Fox: eats a handful of dough right from the middle. Gah!! BABABABABA!!!
Saurus: Ugh! Oh, brother!
And then we were going to decorate them that night. Because I’m an awesome mom and love creating “fun” activities for my children that result in screaming, tears, and early bedtimes for sugared-up children.
Little fox had a meltdown when he couldn’t have ALL of the frostings and sprinkles to create maximum damage. So he went to bed.
Saurus thought he was more capable than his 4-year-old self actually was and wanted to use the black piping frosting all by himself. You can imagine how that went. So he went straight to the bathtub.
Husband took kid duty while I tried to get food coloring out of everyone’s clothes and ended up doing 85% of the cookie decorating by myself.
Just like every year. I hate sugar cookies. Sugar cookies ruin everything.
But now Santa has cookies, the children might have a few memories not requiring therapy, I have hand cramps, our dining room has extra sprinkles, and we all have happy hearts and bellies full of cookies. And that’s why I’ll be a sucker again next year and will probably be able to write this story all over again.
As I’m taking pictures:
Little Fox: Mamamama!
Me: Yes? I’m taking pictures right now. Hold on. Sit over there.
Little Fox: proceeds to sit right next to the cookies.
Me: Fine. Just look cute if you’re going to be in the pictures. And don’t eat them. You’ve already had two.
Little Fox: proceeds to eat one bite from every. single. cookie.
Me: Sigh. Can’t win ’em all.
Little Fox: BABABABABA! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
- 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 C shortening
- 1 C pure cane white sugar
- 1/2 C powdered sugar
- zest of one orange
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 C heavy cream
- 3 C flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Beat butter, shortening, and sugars together until fluffy.
- Stir in orange zest and vanilla bean paste.
- Add in eggs one at time and then the cream, beating well after each.
- Stir in remaining dry ingredients until dough comes together and you can form a ball.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4"-1/2" thick (I like extra thick cookies).
- Cut out shapes and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake for approx 9 minutes or until cookies look dry and not shiny. If you wait until they're golden, they'll be too done.
- Allow to cool on the pan for a minute or two then transfer to a wire rack to await frosting.
- 3 C powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 Tbsp meringue powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- heavy cream, for consistency
- In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and extracts.
- Gradually whisk in heavy cream until desired consistency is reached. You're going for something resembling toothpaste consistency.
- 1/2 C butter, room temperature
- 3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3 C powdered sugar, sifted
- heavy cream, as needed for consistency
- food coloring, as desired
- Beat butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.
- Add extracts and beat well.
- Add powdered sugar and keep beating until light and fluffy.
- Add cream as needed for proper consistency.
- Stir in food coloring, if desired