Monday, February 15, 2010

Sugar Cookies: One-Way Ticket to the Past

Believe it or not, until Saturday I had never made cookie-cutter cookies on my own. No, really. This is the part where you look at me and frown, and say something like "Tsk, tsk. And you say you're infatuated with baking? Yeah right."

Well, I could add that I have made sugar cookies before, but never the cut-out kind. You have to understand that I don't actually have a full-sized kitchen, meaning that I have zero--yes, zero--counter space. And that means I can't bust out a rolling pin and get cookie-cutting very often. Also, I don't have little kids running around to whom I can show how to draw a straight line when you're icing a cookie. Not that I can really do that either, but you get the point.

Basically, I hadn't had nicely-shaped homemade sugar cookies since I was little. Until Saturday, as I said. And Saturday, my life just got a little better, if that's possible. As they say over here, I started to "voir la vie en rose". Partly because my cookies were pink, and so were my hands and face since they were covered in food coloring. But mostly because making and icing these cookies was like a blast from the past, when my maman and I would cut cookies into shapes on the dining room table.

I'll let you in on a little secret: something else made me fall over in a frenzy of "how is this possible I can't believe it this is the best day of my life". The cookies were pink, and the icing had almond extract. And I know at least one person reading this blog who knows exactly what a pink, almond-tasting baked good makes me think of: my birthday cake. I won't say much about it for now except that my birthday cake is a recipe created by my maman, so nobody else can say they have the same in the whole wide world. (Notice how the title of this post is really true since I'm starting to act like when I was six years old again.) It has raspberries, toasted almonds, and a tiny layer of bright pink icing. Oh, man. Whew.

Back to the cookies.

These cookies are the real deal--if you don't believe me, ask the twenty others who thought they were soft, sweet, and (this is me speaking) the most delicious heart-shaped sugar cookies ever. I'm not a crunchy cookie kind of girl, and these were soft without breaking apart. Yum. I regret eating the last six yesterday, because I don't have any left for today. I mean, I really think the dark chocolate Crunch hearts and mini Valentine's Day Snickers would have enjoyed being accompanied by pink sugar cookies in my stomach. It's alright. Now I just have an excuse to make some again soon.

One more thing: is anything seriously cuter than cookies you can put your own personalized message on? I think not. Well, puppies maybe.

Rolled Sugar Cookies
makes 30 cookies
adapted from allrecipes

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 TS vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 TS baking powder
1/2 TS salt
Pink gel food coloring

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined, and knead in food coloring.

Cover and chill dough for at least one hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Place dough in between two sheets of plastic wrap or on a floured surface and roll out until dough is 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes, and cool completely before icing.

Almond Cookie Icing
makes enough to ice 30 cookies

1 c. confectioner's sugar
1 - 1 1/2 TB milk
2 TS honey
1/4 TS almond extract
food coloring

Mix confectioner's sugar, honey, and almond extract in a medium bowl. Thin to desired consistency with milk, and add food coloring.

Dip cookies in icing or paint it on. Cookies will dry completely in about 3 hours.

Note: light corn syrup is hard to find here, so I used honey. However, use light corn syrup if you can--it'll make your icing shiny.
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grace said...

nope, other than puppies (and kittens), i can't think of anything cuter. :)
i can't believe this is your cookie-cutter cookie debut. nicely done!

claudia said...

pretty cookies. You are right it must have been a challenge to roll the dough when you do NOT have counter space!!

bake in paris said...

These cookies are so delicate and cute! Can't believe it was your first time :-)

Sawadee from bangkok,

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Your birthday cake sounds really amazing! And the cookies are so cute! :)

Ingrid said...

LOL, I'm am probably one of the few "bakers" that does NOT like to bake cookies. I much prefer bars. :) You can cut bars out into shaped and decorate as well. Maybe just not pink.

Tell us more about that birthday cake. Actually show us pictures and give us a recipe. Yeah! :)

Lucie said...

Thank you so much for all your compliments!

The one reason I can't post about my birthday cake is that I myself don't know the recipe, and refuse to even try and bake it until I have kids and bake it for them! Weird, I know :) The cake is actually classic genoise with a layer of fresh raspberry sauce in the center, covered in simple icing and slathered in toasted almonds all around... soo good!

Dinners and Dreams said...

Lovely hearts. I love the name of your blog-bilingual butter sounds really cool.