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Friday, April 2, 2010

No-Chill Sugar Cookies

The other night, Stew wanted to make a treat. I'm always up for making goodies, but I have a hard time deciding what to make. We thought sugar cookies would be fun, since we have these adorable cookie cutters from my bridal shower (thanks Brooke!). We didn't want to wait a few hours for the dough to chill, who plans that far ahead? So when I found a recipe for Meyer Lemon Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, from recipegirl, that didn't have to chill—I was so excited! [What are Meyer lemons? Click here] I tweaked the recipe for what I didn't have and they still turned out excellent! These are the best sugar cookies I've ever made, and I especially love that they don't spread while they cook! They are soft and moist, and don't brown (so don't burn them!). Here's the recipe (and detailed photo instructions—Stew got camera happy), including my tweaks.

No-Chill Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups unsalted (I think salted would be okay too) butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 Tbsp whipping cream or whole milk (I used fat-free half and half, and I'm willing to bet regular milk would work just fine)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (I used regular lemon juice, from the bottle)

Zest of 2 medium Meyer lemons (seeing as I didn't have any lemons, I left this out and put a little extra juice in)
6 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325ยบ. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I used my silicone liner and I think that's why they didn't brown at all).
Combine butter and sugar. Beat until smooth, but not fluffy.
In a small bowl, mix eggs, cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add this mixture all at once to the butter and sugar. Mix until just combined. The mixture will appear curdled (so don't freak out, this is good).

In another small bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add to the liquid ingredients in the mixing bowl. Mix to form dough. This dough does NOT need to be chilled before rolling!
Empty bowl onto floured work surface.
Knead the dough a few times to smooth it out and with a rolling pin, roll the dough to desired thickness (we did about 1/4" thick). Sprinkle flour on the dough as needed, if it appears sticky.
Cut into desired shapes.
The dough scraps can be re-rolled and cut several times.
Bake 10–12 minutes, or until edges turn golden brown (but not if you're using a silicone liner!).
Cool a couple minutes on pan, then finish cooling on wire racks.
Makes 3–4 dozen.

Then frost away! We used a simple buttercream frosting, and I was so excited that I got the proportions just right (so the frosting was easy to spread around and left no knife marks), but sad that I didn't measure...so here's a recipe to start from; eyeball it to get the right proportions.

Buttercream Frosting


Ingredients:

4 cups (+ or –) powdered sugar
2 Tbsp (+ or –) butter, softened
2 Tbsp (+ or –) milk (I used fat-free half and half)

1 tsp (+ or –) vanilla extract
Splash of almond or lemon
extract (I used lemon)
Food coloring

Directions:
Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with mixer until smooth, scraping sides. Add more milk or sugar as needed.

We divided the frosting into six small bowls and put two drops of food coloring into each one.
Then stirred.

We had so much fun frosting these and think they are just adorable! Click the pic to make it bigger. What's your favorite cookie?
Mine might be this pink sparkly duck I did to mimic a Peeps chick!

We might make these cookies again on Saturday (we only made a half batch the first time)!

Here are some more fun ideas for Easter:
Bunny Tail Rolls (we're making these, I think they're so cute!)
Easter Resurrection Cookies
Lemon Loaf Cake
Easter Breakfast Rolls
Lemon Bundt Cake
Brown Sugar and Honey Glazed Ham

Happy Easter!

2 comments:

janica said...

cute!! I like the mutli-colored egg and the flower dead center.

Andy said...

I like the pretty pink bunny and I also like the flower in the center.

My dad has a lemon tree in his front yard and they are Meyer lemons (YUM!) I was able to make lemon meringue pies in November and January using lemons from off the tree - gotta love the California weather!