The idea is that I can be super spontaneous at times and decide to make cookies at 12:00 Midnight; and THEN get the revelation that they should be colored.
The execution is that I should be stuck in the kitchen for an undisclosed amount of time, only slightly regretting my bad decision making as I revel in how easy these babies are to make that it’s almost therapeutic.
The conclusion is that I decide to make them again the next day, and document the process so that y’all can have this awesomeness in your lives.
SO before we begin, let us address the topic of flavoring. These are sugar cookies which means you can technically flavor them with any flavoring under the sun. For example, the last batch I made was laced with almond. The cookies above have an orange hint to them as per the bit of zest I threw in.
But no matter what flavoring you choose, vanilla should be a part of it, because it enhances the other flavors and adds a warm, supporting undertone. Also, you could stick with only vanilla in this recipe and you’ll be just as loved. These are two forms of vanilla you can find where I live; vanilla infused sugar and extract; and I use a teensy bit of both here.
The rest of the ingredients are pantry staples: Butter, sugar, egg, flour, baking soda and salt. My sugar is extremely coarse so I used a cup of the coarse grind and half a cup of powdered. Your sugar should be granulated and then you don’t have to bother with the powdered sugar unless you want to play around. (Ingredient quantities are at the end of this post.)
You’ll want to start by creaming together your butter and sugar. (Add your vanilla and flavoring to the bowl as well; nobody’s going to care.)
To cream something is to incorporate air into it by mixing, and when dealing with cookies- especially cut-out cookies- incorporating air not something you really want to do. *More on this in a later post, perhaps?*
But firstly, these are drop cookies, or cookies whose dough is dropped onto a baking sheet and made to spread out. Think chocolate chip cookies. Secondly, we’re creaming these by hand so grab a whisk and mix away. (I did it with a spoon. Bonus points.) Creaming the mixture by hand allows more control so that you don’t whip too much air into the batter. See the slight difference in color?
Now you’ll simply stir in the egg. Divide the butter/sugar/egg or ‘wet’ mixture into four bowls. I recommend that a scale is used for maximum precision. THEN, reveal your secret ingredient: Food Color. Umm, so it’s not so secret. Whatever.
Add an equal amount of liquid food coloring to each of your four bowls. I used 9 drops each of red, blue, green; and to the last bowl I stirred 4 drops of blue and 5 drops of red to get a purple shade I liked. Mix the color in thoroughly…
…In another bowl, stir the flour, baking soda and salt really well. Then divide this amount by four, and again, a scale will be your best friend here. Add a fourth of the ‘dry’ stuff to each of your four bowls, and fold it in.
Right. What if you don’t have a scale?
Simply, mix the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ stuff together first to make the dough, and then divide into four separate bowls. Mix in the food coloring. Why don’t I do it this way? Because I do not want to work my dough too much, or the cookies might be tough. That isn’t to say that you can’t or shouldn’t do your dough this way. Nerdy Nummies always mixes color into her cookies like this, so so can you.
Once the four doughs are mixed up, you can do anything with them- pinwheel cookies, checkerboard cookies…the only limit is your imagination and sorry for being so cliché. I’m going to go ahead and make tiny balls with a ridiculous amount of photo editing because they were so cute I couldn’t resist-
Squeeze 4 tiny balls together to make a cookie. Usually you’d roll the ball into…well, a ball, but we’re going for a more barrel shaped lump of dough here. Why? Because a barrel shaped piece of dough can spread out with a nice thickness to it and make a chewy cookie.
I squeezed out half of the orange I’d zested and added a mountain of powdered sugar and yellow food coloring to make a thick, thick glaze. I didn’t measure anything for this part >.< but it’s pretty straightforward: If the glaze is too thin, add more sugar. If it’s too thick, add either orange juice, water or milk. Pour it into a bag, snip of the tip and pipe swirls onto your already too-beautiful cookies.
Now, gift ’em maybe? We are crafters here. =)
Sugar Cookies (adapted from allrecipes)
Makes 36 24g. (1 oz) cookies
–200 g. butter (little less than 1 cup)
–300 g. granulated sugar (1.5 cups)
–3 tsp. vanilla
–flavoring of choice (1 tsp extract or zest of whole citrus fruit)* Optional
–5.4 g. baking soda (1.5 tsp)
–4.6 g. salt (3/4 tsp)
–343.75 g. flour (2 3/4 cups)
–Cream butter and sugar, add egg, flavoring; divide into four bowls.
–Add equal amount food coloring to each bowl.
–Mix flour, baking soda, salt, divide by four and add to the four bowls. Mix until dough forms.
–Take pieces of each dough and roll into barrels, bake at 350* until slightly brown on bottom.