Peering into the bakery display window at the age of 5, the items are all set for perfect eye level viewing. Brightly colored and beautifully decorated sugar cookies beg for attention and even at that age I stood in awe at the artistic ability of the creative bakers. Displaying seasonal works of art like turkeys for Thanksgiving, perfectly pink hearts for Valentines, or ornately decorated Christmas Trees for the holidays, I wanted them all.
Some 20 years later as I sat in my own kitchen contemplating the holidays and decided decorated sugar cookies were in order. How hard could they be?? But without the internet at hand, I turned to cookbooks and unfortunately my choice in recipes was anything but proper. While tasty, the recipe produced plumped, yet very soft cookies which did not bode well for decorating. Repeat similar stories over the next few years, and you see me giving up on sugar cookies.
I gave up, that is, until I found the perfect recipe. Have you been In Katrina's Kitchen?? If you haven't, a visit is definitely recommended. A tag line of "Where dessert is always served first", Katrina's Kitchen begged me to sit down for a while and enjoy. With her house full of hungry boys, Katrina provides ultimate treat after ultimate treat and has me ready to thing about putting in a request for adoption.
But back to the sugar cookies - Katrina has provided absolutely the best recipe ever. Her description of:
Comes together quickly.
Does NOT need to be chilled.
Can be doubled, halved, etc easily.
Holds its shape with very little expanding when baked.
solved my numerous issues, and her description is perfectly accurate. Using this perfect recipe multiple times over the last year, we've probably baked near 1,000 cookies, and much as I hate to admit it, I've received all the accolades. I've printed the recipe for friends, but I think it's time Katrina receives her due credit.
|Dough shaped into discs and frozen|
Now, Katrina's awesome sugar cookie dough doesn't need to be chilled, but our experiment showed that the dough can indeed be frozen and used at a later date without issue. Baking for Liv's dance team's fundraiser of an afternoon tea put no less than 5 batches of different baked goods on my docket, and making this dough a week early and freezing it put me ahead of the game. On baking day I simply removed the dough from the freezer a few hours before baking and when I was ready, so was the dough.
While Katrina's recipe has made me a cookie hero, unfortunately my lack of artistic skills have left our cookies anything but designer. However, even a simply glaze and a dash of sprinkles elicits oohs and ahhs as soon as the plate reach the table. These beauties were a hit at the tea, and have already been requested for future events. Katrina, thanks for making me shine!
|Instagram from cookie baking day. X for Xcalibur Dance Team!|
From In Katrina's Kitchen, we've made nearly 1,000 of these cookies for various bake sales, dance events and simply for fun. The recipe works exactly as described and comes out perfect every time. My cookie cutter collection is growing!
(Click the link above to see the recipe)
|A portion of our baking for another dance fundraiser|
Sprinkles or nonpareils to decorate
Ingredient amounts will vary depending on the size of your cookie batch, however a good start is about 3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Add food dye and whisk. Add water very slowly 1 Tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
Liv Life note: I'm not a fan of food dye, but I have to admit the bright colors make the cookies simply stunning. Some dyes will add a "dye" flavor, and to cover that up I usually add 1/4 tsp additional almond extract if necessary. Purely depends on your desires.
|Xcalibur Dance Team performing the San Diego Diabetes Walk|