Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Lulu Sugar Cookie or Two

"Lulu"  is my mother's "grandmother name." And, even though she was making these cookies long before she became a grandmother, I find it a fitting name for her most loved and requested cookie recipe. They are a thin butter cookie with a simple icing that can be cut out and decorated in any shape desired. Growing up, we made these cookies for every possible holiday, bake sale, classroom party, and sometimes just because. We would pick what cookie cutters to use from a huge cookie tin full of them--bunnies, ducks, flowers, shamrocks, hearts, pumpkins, witches, stockings, stars, Christmas trees. Then came the icing, and Mom would spread out wax paper on all the kitchen surfaces and let which ever children were around ice and sprinkle 'til their hearts were content. I have even started making these once a semester for my classes because everyone needs a little sugar and cheering up after taking an exam.

While home for Easter a couple weeks ago, Mom and I made her sugar cookies for a few special people. Here's our process:

Lulu’s Sugar Cookies
Yield: 75 cookies
2 sticks butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until foamy (at least 5 minutes). Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add to the mixture and beat well. 

After the dough is combined well, separate equally and form into two sections. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (I've gotten away with putting them in the freezer for 30 minutes or the refrigerator for 2 hours in a pinch, but it works best if you make the dough the night before). 

Take one section of dough out at a time and let it soften for 5 to 10 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Roll out the dough to roughly 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Cut out desired shapes.

Bake on a lined cookie sheet for about 10 minutes or until just the tiniest bit of light brown come up around the edges. 

Now for the icing: We we use a simple icing made of powdered sugar, water, and food coloring. It takes a lot less water than you think, so I recommend adding it by the tablespoon and stirring it into the powdered sugar completely before adding more. You want it spreadable, but not to thin that it runs off the cookie or too thick that it is hard for the kids to spread easily.  Make sure to use the sprinkles before the icing has completely dried. If you get the icing on the cookies while they are still warm the icing will dry shiny.

Try not to stack them on top of each other until the icing has completely hardened or it will smudge. I hope you enjoy the baking, decorating process, and, of course, the buttery, sugary cookie goodness.

1 comment:

  1. *noise I don't know how to spell*
    Having this recipe has probably changed my life.