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Pain and Gain
Roll-out Frosted Sugar Cookies
This recipe has been used in my dysfunctional yet domestically-inclined family for about 100 years. To date, I am the last one in my generation or younger to keep making these things, and while I’m not a sadist, I hope my daughter will carry on the tradition when she’s older. I say this because while these are the most delicious cookies you will ever taste in your life, they require a lot of labor, time, and patience. They are affectionately known in our circle as “those effing cookies.” From start to finish, you can count on about 4 hours in the kitchen to make a double batch, which is recommended.
These cookies will melt in your mouth and get you a whole lot of brownie points any time you make them. But be warned – if you make these once, people will pester you into the grave to keep making them again and again. People will start buying you new cookie cutters in hopes that you’ll use them and use them soon. You’ll be making these cookies for freakin’ Flag Day if you let yourself be bullied. I always make them for Christmas, and usually do a batch on Halloween and/or Valentine’s Day. I distinctly remember that big vein pulsing in my boyfriend’s forehead when he watched his sister shoveling them away six at time at Christmas dinner one year, because he knows I only make them every few months, and his personal cookie stash was diminishing quickly.
So pour yourself some strong coffee, get some comfortable shoes, and put on some good tunes and your apron. And be sure to leave some for Santa.
Frosted Sugar Cookies
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 cup butter (softened) (use real butter – not margarine)
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 2 tbs. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
In large bowl, blend together sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, butter, eggs and milk.
In smaller bowl, blend together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
Gradually sift dry mixture into the wet mixture; blend very well (I use electric mixer). Refrigerate at least 2 hours before baking, or the dough will be too sticky to work with.
Use rolling pin and LOTS of flour to roll out dough and cut out shapes. I usually use linen/sack dishcloth to roll dough on. (You will need to flour the rolling pin, ball of dough before rolling out, cookie cutters, and cloth surface.)
Put cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 6 minutes at 350º. Be very careful not to over-bake – they burn quickly. Let cookies cool completely before frosting.
· ½ stick butter (softened)
· 1 tsp. vanilla
· About ½ cup milk
· Lots of powdered sugar
Using electric mixer, stir together butter, vanilla and milk. Then gradually add the powdered sugar (you’ll probably end up using about three-quarters of a bag) until mixture is more or less white and you have a spreadable consistency. Split into different bowls and add food coloring as desired. Use butter knife or small spatula to spread over cookies. Use toothpicks to draw more ornate designs with frosting and/or add colored sprinkles. Refrigerate immediately after frosting has set. They will freeze nicely, but they’re best on their first 24 hours and from the refrigerator.