Christmas Sugar Cookies
One of my fondest memories as a child at Christmas was cutting out and decorating cookies. I looked forward to it each Christmas, almost as much as eating them. Now, I'm sure my mother's memories of that time were more of frustration because I would get bored and leave before finishing.
Despite the likelihood that making cookies with children might not be all sunshine and roses, I have been eagerly anticipating baking cookies with my toddlers. While Toddler #2 is a bit young yet, I thought that Toddler #1 might have fun. So, with a lot of hope, this morning I tackled making Christmas cut-out cookies with Ginny.
I used a recipe I found recently on Pinterest for Knockoff Swig Sugar Cookies. I've never heard of Swig's, a drive-thru drink shop in St. George, UT. My friend who lives there assured me that their sugar cookies are amazing. With that type of recommendation, I decided to bake these over my mom's sugar cookie recipe (please forgive me, Mom!).
To start, I creamed together 1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks at room temperature), 3/4 cup of canola oil, 2 Tbsp water, 2 eggs, 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup powdered sugar. As that was creaming in my stand mixer, I mixed together the dry ingredients: 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp salt, and 5 1/2 cups of flour. Of course, at this moment I realized I was short on flour. Oh no. Luckily, I had some cake flour in my pantry so I subbed close to 3/4 cup of cake flour for the all-purpose flour I normally use for cookies. Phew. Crisis averted! (Truly...the roads were icy today so I wasn't running to the store for flour.)
After that was well blended, I slowly added it to the butter mixture. My little assistant, Ginny, watched eagerly as everything came together. Every once in a while, she would volunteer to "lick it". I assume she meant the mixer paddle or the bowl. For all I know, she meant the cookie dough. My daughter has great taste.
Once the cookie dough was ready, I tried to roll it out on our table so we could cut them out. The dough was slightly sticky and not willing to be rolled easily. I imagine this is the disadvantage to not using my mom's recipe. All I needed now was to cut the cookies. Ginny was more than happy to do the job. Of course, being two years old, Toddler #1 was a bit impatient and wanted the cookies off the table right away. Not only did she want to cut them, she wanted to move them to the pans (that were lined with parchment paper, FYI). When I wouldn't let her do the latter, she decided to move random dough over to the pans anyway, declaring, "my turn, my turn."
We ended up only cutting out 2 dozen cookies this year. I scooped out the rest with my cookie scoop, then pressed gently with the palm of my hand (the part right under the thumb) to create a flat round cookie. I baked them at 350° for 10 minutes. I took the parchment paper with the cookies off of the pans to cool. When the cookies finished cooling, I made up some icing and decorated the cookies.
The cookies taste amazing! Ginny loves them. Would a 2-year-old lie about something like that?