December 20, 2011


I've always liked to bake for the holidays, but haven't made sugar cookies since I was a child.  I'm not really sure why that's the case other than there are so many cookie recipes in the world and it always seemed that everyone made sugar cookies for Christmas.  I guess I like to be different.  Well, this year I discovered a food blog called "Bake at 350" and wow is this woman ever talented.  She makes these beautifully detailed cookies that make Martha Stewart look like an amateur. Looking at her site gave me a foodie orgasm!

My brother and nephew were coming over to spend some quality family time together before the holidays and I decided that Jon - my boyfriend, Rich - my brother, David - my nephew and I should bake cookies together.  I made sure that I had plenty of ingredients on hand for all different types of cookies.  Jon made his mother's cookie recipe that's listed here on my blog called Reynolds' Family Creme Wafer Cookies and they were fantastic as usual.  My brother and nephew made a no-bake peanut butter chocolate recipe that was really good and I made my favorite oatmeal recipe which I'll post here sometime soon.

I decided that it would be fun to take a stab at baking some sugar cookies after looking at the Bake at 350 blog and seeing her work.  Baking the cookies were a snap.  I followed her recipe and they turned out wonderfully, but then we all started in on the decorating.  Suffice it to say that this family will never win a sugar cookie decorating award.  We had fun and laughed the entire time so that part was well worth it.  The trees that you see above are the only cookies that didn't look like they were done by a group of toddlers with a sugar buzz.  The recipe listed here is from the Bake at 350 site, but I thought that I'd pass it along so that it might inspire some of you to make cookies with your family too!

Have fun and enjoy the holiday!

  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup - 2 sticks salted butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Your choice of decorations.......I used tubes of store bought icing, sprinkles, etc

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.  I refrigerated the dough at this point overnight.  I took it out and let it set on the counter for one hour before rolling.

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and freeze on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking.  Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Once they are completely cooled, let the decorating fun begin!

Click here for a printable version of this recipe from Culinary Collage.

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