Christmas Sugar Cutouts
Dad was always so great, letting me use my imagination while I decorated. I can remember several cookies having small mountains of sprinkles and very sloppy and choppy frosting jobs. I'm sure by the time it was all said and done my cookies weren't ever really pretty, but the memories I made were beyond priceless.
This year I thought it'd be fun to start that same sugar cutout tradition with Marcus.
These taste great, and would be fun to bring to any Christmas party. Just keep in mind, these do require some time to make - only because the cookies need to be totally cooled before frosting, and the frosting needs to totally dry before storing or transferring.
Without further ado…
Christmas Sugar Cutouts (Yields 3-4 dozen cookies)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
To make the dough:
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a second large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the yogurt and butter at a low speed; add sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until combined. It's ok if it's a little lumpy as long as not butter chucks are visible.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture, mixing until well combined. Dough will be sticky.
Flatten dough, wrap tightly and refrigerate until chilled, 1-2 hours.
Tip: Dough may be made to this point and refrigerated fro up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.
Roll, Cut & Bake:
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Generously flour your work surface to prevent dough from sticking. Rub flour on rolling pin.
Put dough on top of the floured surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour.
Starting at the center, roll the dough out to one edge; return to the center and roll the dough to the opposite edge.
Continue rolling until dough is an even 1/4 inch thick all over, sprinkle with additional flour, if needed, to avoid sticking.
Dip cookie cutter into flour and cut out dough shapes.
Transfer dough shapes to baking sheets.
Continue rolling dough, cutting shapes, and adding to baking sheets until the sheets are filled.
Bake 2 sheets at a time for 8-10 minutes, rotating and switching pans half way through cooking time.
Bake them until they are baked all the way through but haven't started browning on the bottom.
Transfer hot cookies to a baking rack to cool completely.
Tip: Cooled, unfrosted cookies may be stacked in a sealed container and stored at room temperature for up to three days, or frozen for up to 2 weeks.
6 Tbsp whole milk
6 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 tsp almond extract
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth.
Add in corn syrup and almond extract. WIth a strong arm, whisk together until the icing is shiny and smooth and drizzles off your whisk easily.
This runny consistency is what you will use to fill your cookies.
Using a small bowl, pour in a bit of your thin icing, approximately 1/2 cup.
Sprinkle in some additional powdered sugar and whisk again until smooth and difficult to mix by hand. It's going to be thick, and that's good. You want the icing to run VERY slowly off your whisk.
Fill a piping bag with your thick icing, using a #3 or #4 decorator tip (or use a ziplock with a tiny bit of the corner snipped off), and outline your cookie.
Allow the outline to harden some before adding the filling.
In a separate decorating bag, bottle or zip lock, fill with the runny icing.
Carefully squeeze the thin icing onto your cookies. Don't rush to spread the icing, it will spread some on its own.
Once the icing seems to have settled a bit, go back in a fill in any spots that the icing didn't fill.
If you're using sprinkles, add them while the icing is still wet. If you're decorating with other icing it is best to wait until icing is totally dry (if icing feels dry to the touch you're good to go).
Head over to Destiny USA (destinyusa.com) to catch up on their Unwrap Your Memories Campaign this holiday season!
Don't forget to join The 5 Days of Christmas, Christmas Traditions, and Mean Ang's Cookie Swap, and link up to share your Christmas goodies and traditions, too!