Monday, December 16, 2013

Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Icing {Cookie Exchange!}

This is one of my most cherished recipes.

Growing up, my mom was always volunteering for everything imaginable.  Need someone to sew costumes?  She'd sew.  Need someone to teach Sunday School or VBS?  She'd step in.  Need someone to be room mom?  There she was!

I always knew that my mom worked extremely hard to make things special for my brother and I.  Now that I'm juggling my own little family, I have even more respect for all the amazing things she did for us.  One of the things she was known for in her room mom days was her amazingly wonderful sugar cookies with buttercream icing.  These were made faithfully for just about every class party you could imagine.  I was always so proud to say "my mom made these" when all the kids lined up trying to grab an extra cookie.

So without further ado, here is her fabulous sugar cookie recipe.  I've made just a couple changes, switching out shortening and margarine to unsalted sweet cream butter.  Because butter only makes things better.  ;)

Mom's Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup of unsalted sweet cream butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add the butter, sugar, and eggs to a stand mixer (or a large bowl with hand beater) and beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixer until everything is well blended and the dough starts to pull away from the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface, and roll out to 1/4" thick.  Cut out cookies using cookie cutters of your choice, and lay cookies on an un-greased cookie sheet, about 1-2" apart.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges are just slightly turning golden.  Allow cookies to rest on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.  Ice cookies once they are completely cooled.

Buttercream Icing

2/3 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon milk
food coloring (optional)

Place butter in a stand mixer (or large bowl with hand beaters) and beat until smooth.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the sifted confectioner's sugar until it is all incorporated well.  Add the milk and vanilla while beating on medium-low.  Once the icing is a smooth consistency, you may add food coloring if you like.  If the icing becomes too watery due to too much food coloring, add a little more sifted confectioner's sugar until the consistency becomes a little more stiff.

You can use the icing to "butter" your cookies and then add sprinkles on top, toss it in a Ziploc bag with a corner cut to pipe easy designs onto the cookies, or use decorating bags and tips to make more intricate designs.  Keep it as simple as or make it as fancy as you like.


P.S. For todiefor Gingersnap cookies, these are an oldie but a goodie. :)

P.P.S I'm linking up today with Edie at Life In Grace!  Head over to her beautiful blog to see more wonderful cookie recipes. :)