Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My favorite sugar cookies

You know. Being sick around Christmas time really blows. Seems whatevers been going around has finally caught up to me (2 days before Christmas... joy), and is enjoying beating the living crap out of my immune system as I lay helplessly in bed, yearning to get inside my kitchen and finish the numerous amounts of baking I still have yet to do.

You know what doesn't suck about being sick?

Fuzzy green neon socks.

Yes, you heard me right. Fuzzy. Green. Neon. Socks. They rock. They are my "sick-time" socks. They keep my feet nice and warm and cozy and I love them. And the best part is, because I'm sick, I have a totally justified reason for wearing them with PJ pants and a "free hugs!" shirt that I made two years ago with spray paint. Awesome.

So despite my attempts at staying in bed all day, I'm cheating and posting a recipe for my favorite sugar cookies ever... Their incredibly easy to make. They puff up and get all soft and yummy and so perfect. The dough is perfectly handled in a way that the cookie comes out delicate yet sturdy and oh so buttery. Pair that up with some awesome icing skills (of which I do not have the patience for) and you got yourself a crowd pleaser.

The best part about making the dough is that it's actually quite a messy process... The recipe calls for you to mix it in BY HAND. And by hand, I mean literally using your hands. That's right. You incorporate the flour WITH YOUR HANDS. And once the flour is almost gone, you switch to a spatula just to make sure it's all entirely mixed. I didn't realize how much of a difference this method made in these cookies until I simply used my mixer to mix the flour in... the cookies had a duller texture and just weren't the same, light-hearted sugar cookies that seem to come out when you do it exactly as the directions say: by hand. So if you don't mind getting your hands a bit messy (i'm sure they already are), definitely make these cookies. Right now.

And make me a batch too. I'm gonna need the sugar.

Michelle's Soft Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (may need 1/4 cup more for dough to come together)
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Cream the butter and add the sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition.

2. Stir in the vanilla.

3. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt gradually to the creamed mixture, stirring in with floured hands. Dough should be slightly sticky and not too wet. If too wet, incorporate 1/4 cup more of flour. Cover and chill dough overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and cut into your favorite shapes. Place cookies onto the prepared baking sheets.

6. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for exactly 8 minutes. Cookies will be pale and only slightly brown at the edges.


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