This weekend while reading the Sunday paper I read an article about a local cookie contest sponsored by the paper. Then I noticed the Parade magazine in the paper highlighted their cookie recipe winners. They chose the best rolled cookie, drop cookie, and bar cookie. It seems every newspaper in the country sponsored similar contests. You can find the winning cookie recipes selected by the Chicago Tribune, the Lake Tahoe News, the Indianapolis Star, and many other papers and magazines so I decided to share one of our favorite cookie recipes.
This sugar cookie recipe is the one we started using about twenty years ago and have we’ve decorated these cookies for special treats not only at Christmas, but also at Easter, New Year’s, and other special occasions. While simple, I believe this recipe could challenge for an award in any cookie contest. If you haven’t baked cookies in a while, it’s a good time to give it a try.
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. almond extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
granulated sugar or icing
Mix powdered sugar, margarine, egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into halves. Roll each half 3/16 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board. Cut into shapes.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar (omit sugar if you decide to ice the cookies); place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until edges are light brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen, 2 inch cookies.
½ stick of softened butter
Place softened butter in a bowl. Add powdered sugar a little at a time and mix with a fork until smooth. Continue adding sugar until reaching desired sweetness – a taste test is best! You may want to add a dash of vanilla or a dash of milk to make the icing smoother and easier to spread.
I know you prefer this “pretty icing” recipe because it spreads more smoothly and makes a more attractive cookie. This recipe really does make the cookies look like the ones in the cookbooks.
1 box powdered sugar
3 TBSP. powdered egg whites
6 TBSP. warm water (may increase to 8 TBSP. of water if a thinner icing is desired)
Beat until the consistency of sour cream. Color if desired. Spread icing on sugar cookies.