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At our house we celebrate holidays with cut iced sugar cookies. Here’s my original recipe. Enjoy!
Be My Sugar Cookies
Want a sweet snack? Crisp on the outside. Soft on the inside. Let’s bake.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
zest of one orange
insides of one vanilla bean (do it its yum)
Once thoroughly blended add 1/2 cup milk
In a separate bowl stir together
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until flour mixture is moistened. There may be small lumps. Resist the urge to over mix. Dough will be very sticky. Do not fear. Tear off two large sheets of plastic film. Turn out dough and divide in half. Loosely wrap each portion and flatten into disc. Chill for 20 -30 minutes. Dough should feel firm but give to gentle pressure.
Preheat oven to 350°. Generously dust both board and dough with flour one portion at a time and roll to 1/8th inch thickness. Roll in one direction only. Turn dough 90° after each roll. Flour top and bottom as needed. Work quickly. Dough must remain cool. If in doubt return to fridge and cool.
Cut into fancy shapes, or freehand it. People will be delighted with shapes, but these are good cookies. Flavor will sell them. Place cookies onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. The edges will be slightly brown when done. Let cookies stand for a few minutes after baking to firm up then transfer too cooling rack.
Continue to roll out. Refrigerate scraps. Roll until dough is all gone. That last sad tiny piece. Flatten and bake it. You need something to test to ensure these cookies aren’t poison.
Zest one lemon. Juice one lemon. Add zest to juice and set aside. Strain out the zest before adding to powdered sugar mixture for decorating fancy shapes. Leave it for drizzling over un-fancy shapes.
In a large mixing bowl beat 2 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 2 drops glycerine. Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Stir together. If icing is too thick add more juice. If icing is too thin add more powdered sugar.
Make sure cookies are completely cool before icing – except that last lumpy scrap. Dunk it in the icing. You need something to test to ensure the icing isn’t poison either. Violà. Yum! Add food coloring and do fancy icing if you wish, or drizzle if you’re in a hurry.
These are my favorite sugar cookies ever. The cookie dough alone has a faint and delicate flavor. Adding lemon zest to the royal icing really wakes up vanilla bean and orange zest flavors in the cookie. I’ve used lime or grapefruit zest in the cookie dough with equally delicious results. Zing!
Tonight my sweetheart and I will enjoy a quiet evening in. I have a special surprise for him. My darling neighbor Elise has a Cricut, and she helped me papercraft a heart bunting to hang over the fireplace.