Friday, December 18, 2009

Visions Of Sweetness...Rolled Sugar Cookies

While finishing my shopping this week, I stopped in the Williams Sonoma store. Oh what fun! I have a collection of copper cookie cutters and was drawn to their new trio of holiday cutters. The catalog really doesn't do them justice. The curvy, swirly shape of the candy cane just begs to be picked up. Then it cajoled me to the cash register as visions of sweetness danced in my head....OK, I'm easy;-) Another new addition this year is a Brigitte type cutter with holiday images. It's from my one of my favorite cookie cutter ebay sellers, Harsefeld-online-shop. My kitchen was well stocked with butter, sugar and flour, so I went about making sugar cookie dough to chill. I substituted the lemon zest for 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract for a change. I pulled out my other cutters along with sprinkles, pearls, and dragees. I've collected these decorations from as close as my local grocery store and as far away as Paris and London. So, the holiday music went on, the oven fired up and I rolled, cut and decorated. Fa-la-la-la-la.

For more holiday inspiration click here for
Food With Style, it's a great collection of food bloggers posts. Thanks Jain!
Rolled Sugar Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In large bowl or food processor, cream sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add egg, lemon zest and vanilla extract until well blended. Add the flour and salt and mix until it begins to form a ball, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water. Scrape dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press together to form a thick flat disc. Wrap well and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick (1/4 inch, if using Brigitte cutter), or
desired thickness. The dough needs to be just the right temperature to roll and cut properly. If it is too cold, it is hard to roll, and if it is too soft it becomes difficult to cut and pick up. Roll any scraps back into a ball and chill again. Use as little flour as possible to roll out, so they don't get tough. After cutting, place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes or until just lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. I use an insulated baking sheet to prevent the edges from getting too brown.

Makes 4 dozen, 3 inch (1/8 inch thick) cookies.

My tips: Keep dough chilled just enough so it is easy to roll and cut, but not so cold that it is hard and cracks. I like to roll between 2 layers of plastic wrap. This keeps the dough from sticking without extra flour that makes the dough tough. I even roll it to desired thickness, between 2 layers of plastic wrap before chilling. Then when it comes out of the refrigerator, you won't have to roll and you'll be ready to cut. If the dough warms up too much while working with it, you can slide the whole layer onto a cookie sheet and chill, without disturbing what you've already done. Also, bake sugar cookies in insulated pans for even browning. Happy baking!

Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe (pdf)
Suber Winter Cookie Cutter
Brigitte Cookie Cutter
Williams-Sonoma Candy Cane Cookie Cutter

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Romiina said...

Hola, soy de chile y necesitaba mucho una receta de galletas :) me encantaron las tuyas !

gracias por la ideas =O)

take care

Kate at Serendipity said...

Thank you for this recipe. It brings back memories of making cookies and decorating them with my mom and my sister.

La Table De Nana said...

Merry Christmas to you too as the pretty ribbon says:)

We are so much alike for cookies..I bought those little plunger ones too..different but similar..Your cookies are ADORABLE!!! So so cute!

Kathy Walker said...

Decorated butter cookies are a must at our house for Christmas. I like your recipe...the addition of lemon zest would be perfect. Your cookies are beautiful!

Amber said...

Oh I LOVE the candy cane! Beautiful cookies!

Karen @ Mignardise said...

Just beautiful. You really have a talent for decorating.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Beautiful cookies. Not just visions of sweetness, but visions of happiness too! I'm happy just looking at them :) Love the candy cane! I'm so envious looking at your collection of cookie cutters!

A Bowl Of Mush said...

Oooh I love the candy cane, its so whimsical!

Beautiful cookies!!

Flirting with Flour said...

I agree with ABowlOfMush..Whimsical is the perfect word to describe those candy canes ... They are beautifuL! Thanks for the link to the ebay store- they have some fun stuff... I'd love to try this recipe but after seeing the candy cane it will have to wait until I can get some cute cookie cutters! :)