Iced Sugar Cookies

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Some things never change.

I drove up to St. Paul earlier this week to bring my brother home from his first semester of college, and within the first few days of being home, we found ourselves in the kitchen making sugar cookies. It is not that either of us particularly love the time involved in decorating two trays full of sugar cookies, or need any more tempting sugar in the house, but as I said, some things never change.

As young children every holiday season involved decorating home-made sugar cookies- a treat for Santa.  Although my brother and I are both in college now, and know better than to leave cookies on the hearth each Christmas Eve, we couldn’t let go of that tradition. We couldn’t let go of that tradition, because in many ways, that’s what the holidays are- a collection of traditions that bind us together and wrap us in memories. For that reason, some things never change. And sometimes, that’s exactly what I need.

Happy holidays from my family to yours.

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Cookie Ingredients:

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour- sifted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of milk, as needed

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375˚ F and spray a light layer of non-stick spray on two baking sheets.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing well.
  5. Once all the flour has been added, kneed the dough until the ingredients are completely combined.
  6. Sprinkle a clean, smooth surface area and a rolling pin with flour.
  7. Roll ¼ of your dough into a smooth ball and drop into the center of your floured surface. Roll the dough out into a thing sheet- 1/8 an inch thick.
  8. Arrange your cookie cutter shapes on the dough without pressing down. Once you have the ideal arrangement of cookie cutter shapes arranged on the dough, press the cookie cutters down into the dough, carefully wiggling each cookie cutter to get a clean cut.
  9. Remove all the extra dough around the cookie cutters, and then remove the cookie cutters themselves. One by one, move the dough shapes from the counter to the baking pan using a metal spatula.
  10. Continue steps 4-6 until all of the dough has been used.
  11. Bake each cookie sheet individually for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottoms are a light brown and the centers are not too doughy. If you wait until the cookies are light brown on top, you may find them to be too hard. That’s up to personal opinion though!

10. Allow the cookies to cool completely before icing them.

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Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons milk
  • Food coloring
  • Optional flavoring: vanilla, maple flavoring, mint extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon

Icing Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the sugar and milk, stirring until completely mixed.
  2. Divide the icing up into smaller bowls and add flavoring to each. (I am not a fan of the taste of confectioners sugar, so I always like to add a little pumpkin pie spice or a few drops of vanilla to help enhance the flavor. This is optional, however with trial and error pumpkin pie spice adjusts the flavor the best.)
  3. Add a drop of food coloring to each bowl as desired. We did yellow, red, green, blue, left one white, and mixed blue and red to make purple!
  4. Decorate your cookies, and have fun with it!

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Notes and Tips!:

 

 

Chocolate Mint Puddle Cookies

 

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Today is December 2nd, the first Sunday of Advent. That means that it is the beginning of holiday shopping, ugly sweater parties, and lots of baking. One struggle with being in college is that the holiday season does not really start until final exams are over- which for many may not until the week of Christmas itself!

One thing that always makes it feel like Christmas for me, even being miles from home and in the hardest weeks of my semester, is turning on some Christmas music and baking. That may sound cheesy, but it’s the truth. And it is exactly what I did this weekend

These cookies are the perfect recipe for any holiday occasion. Chances are your friends have never had a cookie quite like this, and not only are they going to be asking for seconds, but they’ll be asking for the recipe as well! Chocolate and mint combined create a delicious holiday treat that is sure to please everyone.

I hope wherever you are, you are able to take a break and enjoy some of this holiday cheer. Maybe make some cookies, and pass them on- just a thought 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 (4.6 oz) packages Andes mints

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, and water- stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until smooth and completely melted.
  3. Allow the chocolate/butter mix to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
  5. Once the chocolate/butter mix has cooled for 10 minutes, pour it into a separate medium sized bowl, and beat the two eggs into the mixture one at a time.
  6. Combine the dry and wet ingredients, stirring well.
  7. Cover and refrigerate the dough for one hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350˚ and spray a cookie sheet with a light layer of non-stick cooking spray.
  9. Roll the dough into small balls and arrange on the cookie sheet two inches apart.
  10. Bake for 7-9 minutes, remove the cookies and quickly press an Andes mint into the center of each cookie. Place the cookie sheet back in the over for an additional 30 seconds then remove the cookies.
  11. Use a toothpick or a small knife to swirl the Andes Mint into a melted pattern.
  12. Allow to cool before serving and enjoy!*

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Notes and Tips!:

  • I suggest baking the cookies all at once the same day you make the dough. The cookies keep well once cooked, and the dough firms up after being refrigerated, making it more difficult to bake the longer you wait.
  • I used two cookie sheets and alternated using them to make the process quicker.
  • I suggests spraying each sheet with a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray at the beginning, however that is the only time you probably will have to apply it. I only used it once and my cookies came off the pan easily!
  • If you place your cookies in the refrigerator for 30+ minutes after they come out of the oven, it helps the Andes Mint harden up much quicker.
  • Source: Gimme Some Oven
  • If you like this recipe, try these Rolo Crinkle Cookies, Apple Spice Cookies with Cardmon Cinnamon Frosting, and my World’s Best Cookie Bar Recipes!