Food & Drink Magazine

Sugar Cookies & Icing

By Karenvanzant @KarenVanZant
When I was a kid, my sister Nikki and I would make Christmas sugar cookies for everyone in the family. We'd take a Saturday or Sunday and spend literally all day in the kitchen, using wax paper-lined shirt boxes to package the cookies. They were always a huge hit; no one in our family wanted gifts from us other than the cookies!
Unfortunately, I lost a box of cookbooks/recipes in a move a few years back, so I'm still tracking down certain recipes- that one included. I've asked my mom to send that recipe to me if she can find it, so here's hoping. I don't remember where that recipe came from, it was typed (on a typewriter, mind you!) onto an index card by my mom, but I haven't a clue if she got the recipe from someone else in the family, a cookbook, or what. I need to find out, as soon as she finds that recipe card!
So, in the last few years I've been searching for a good recipe to use instead, and a few I've liked, and a few others, not so much. I don't know what it was about that particular recipe- other than maybe just for nostalgic reasons- that was so much better than other recipes I've found. However, I made some cookies last night using a recipe from the awesome Nigella Lawson, and they were very good. I didn't use her icing recipe, I remembered the icing recipe that I used as a kid because it was so simple. Below is Nigella's cookie recipe from, and the icing recipe that I used all those years ago!
What You'll Need:
For the cookies:
6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar1 large egg1/2 teaspoon vanilla1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt
For the icing:
2 cups powdered sugar2 tbsp milk1 tbsp vanillaFood coloring, used as needed
What to Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Sprinkle your work surface with flour, place disk of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes; obviously it depends on the shape you're using and whether they are on the upper or lower shelf, though you can swap them around after about 5 minutes. When they're ready expect them to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they'll be softish still in the middle, but set while they cool.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack. When the cookies are completely cooled, you can start the icing process. Just combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla into a bowl and whisk together. You can transfer the icing into smaller bowls, then add food coloring into the individual bowls and mix well. Let the icing dry, I like to let them sit overnight to completely harden.
Here are a few that my boyfriend decorated last night- I love his smiley face Christmas tree!
Sugar Cookies & Icing

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