Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Think Valentine's Day - Think Cookies

Last night after dinner I decided to do something that would make me feel a little organized and on top of it. I baked cookies for Valentine's Day.

The cookies I made are my Sugar Cookies but they are not your typical thin, crisp sugar cookie. These are puffy and soft, and oh-so-yummy! I think the flavor is unique, I don't know how to describe it . . . maybe you should fire up the ol' wooden spoon, make and sample some for yourself!

I personally suspect the sprinkle of nutmeg has a lot to do with the unique flavor. But, you ask, how can a mere few grains of nutmeg make a difference in flavor? All I know is once I accidentally forgot the nutmeg, and the cookies were not as good.

I've made this recipe for years and it's become a traditional "all-holiday" cookie at our house . . . rolled out and cut into an egg shape at Easter, heart shape at Valentine's Day, pumpkin shape at Halloween, and so on.

Rather than having the usual sugar sprinkled on top before baking, I frost mine. (After baking, of course.)

SUGAR COOKIES

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of nutmeg

In medium bowl, thoroughly mix butter, sugar, eggs, milk, baking soda and vanilla.

Blend in flour, salt and nutmeg.

At this point the batter will be pretty soft and needs to go into the refrigerator for 45-60 minutes to firm up before you can roll it out. I scrape the batter onto a sheet of wax paper, wrap it up, stick it in a plastic baggie and put it into the refrig.

Roll the dough 1/4" thick (no thinner) on a lightly floured surface. Using cookie cutters, cut into desired shapes.

Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.

These are cookies just out of the oven. Don't let them brown at all. You can tell if they're done by lightly pressing a finger on top of cookie. When done, they will feel firmed up.

Cool on racks. I got 59 of these heart shapes from the recipe.

I packed them away last night and stored them in the freezer . . . yes, I did. Every last one of them. (Aren't you proud of me?)

The cookies will be ready and waiting for me to take them out of the freezer closer to Valentine's Day when I'll frost them. Just in case you can't wait to try them, I'll include the frosting recipe here.

FROSTING FOR SUGAR COOKIES

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Milk
Food coloring of choice

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add enough milk for desired spreading consistency. Tint with food coloring. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

I'll try to remember to post some pictures when the cookies are decorated . . . but don't be expecting anything fancy as I'm what I call a "folk art" froster. (Read: fast and rustic-looking!)

16 comments:

Sue said...

I'm sorry---do I know you???
Pack away cookies? Without even EATING one??? Helloooooooooo?
My god. You're a saint. I would have sampled one for you just to make sure they were perfect. Call me!
lol!

Jane said...

You have amazing restraint that 59 cookies made their way into the freezer. I could not say the same would happen here.

Mama Pea said...

Sue and Jane - Did you not know that I am bullheaded, stubborn, mule-ish, pigheaded, obstinate, inflexible, tenacious, immovable, perverse and cussed . . . shall I go on? I AM a Taurus after all. :o) (And if I don't lose any weight this week, there is going to be he!! to pay! Just sayin'.)

The Apple Pie Gal said...

They'd be gone in an instant! Cookies are my weakness. Really. I shovel them in!

Ok, my Grama always used nutmeg in her sugar cookies! Her recipe is a bit different than yours however...Super yummy! So yes, just that little bit is heavenly!

Now I want cookies!

2 Tramps said...

Oh, Mama Pea, I am licking my computer screen trying to get a taste! And you didn't even eat one! They are beautiful and my favorite kind of cookie.

Of course you could not eat one - the taste would stay on your lips. You would be toxic with cookie crumbs and your husband would know you had been hitting the jar - the cookie jar...

Dirt Lover said...

Awesome job! Pat yourself on the back for being on the ball, and ahead of things. Great idea to put them in the freezer for some quickie cookies later. But, well, are you sure, like really, really, sure they taste ok? What about quality control?? I think you should taste at least one, just to make sure you didn't replace powder with soda, or salt for sugar. That would be so awful if you were in a rush, and were thinking of something else, and accidentally did something wrong. You still have time to check them for perfect taste. You know, so your family won't suffer any ill harm. Just taste a few for the family, you know??
~~Lori

MamaTea said...

Seriously...I don't know how you can bake stuff like that and not sample it. You are one tough cookie. (Ha! I had to say it!!)

Fiona said...

Yum! I, too, have a sugar cookie recipe with a little somethin' special in it -- cardamom. Yep, 1/4 tsp of the stuff and without it, the cookies just aren't the same. My hubbie doesn't usually like sugar cookies but he loves these! Maybe I'll have to try the nutmeg this year (like I need to be doing any more baking right now, lol!)

Mama Pea said...

APG - Cookies, huh? You and my husband! It's a perfect night for you to make cookies . . . just think how good it would make the house smell!

2 Tramps - I truly didn't have any trouble passing them up but it took a couple good whacks with a wooden spoon to keep my hubby from inhaling several. Good thing I'm stronger than he is! ;o)

Lori - That's hubby's line. Whenever I bake something to give away he suggests he really, really should taste just a bit of it to make sure it's "okay."

Mama Tea - Oh, GOOD line, good line!

meemsnyc said...

Oooh, I love sugar cookies. I'll have to try this recipe!! Yum.

Mama Pea said...

Fiona - I suppose there are lots of different sugar cookie recipes in lots of different families. Funny how what we grow up with remains our favorite!

meemsnyc - Yep. Sometimes a "plain" cookie like a sugar cookie seems like the best of all!

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

Yummy...I could eat those plain no problem. All of them, in one sitting. Our traditional sugar cookies are made, chilled, rolled, cut and then painted with a colored egg yolk/water/food coloring paint and then baked. It makes them "shellacked" and colorful, with fewer calories...

Jane said...

These sound really good,I will be trying my hand at this,thanks for sharing... Don't know how you were able to resist eating just one! Blessings jane

Erin said...

Yum! Mine are soft too.... gotta love that buttah! I haven't made sugar cookies in so long, probably because we weren't here for Christmas.

Susan said...

You know, that is a great idea. I think I will whip some up this weekend and freeze ALL of them too - as if.

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - Ya know, I never knew how you got that pretty "shellacked" look to decorated cookies. Good to know!

Jane2 - I just knew I'd be really mad at myself if I caved at this point.

Erin - Well, you know that I, too, completely skipped the whole Christmas cookie thing this year. Did we miss it? I don't think so. But I've gotten the feeling some of the folks I usually give plates to weren't real happy with me!

Susan - You can do it, you can do it, you can do it! I know you can. Can't you? YES, you can! :o)