Sunday, December 5, 2010
And Christmas Cookie Season Begins...
Dear Tricia, Any tips on how to ensure our Christmas Sugar Cookie decorating event, Thanksgiving weekend, ends with soft delicious cookies and not me in tears with a floor covered in cookie crumbs? I'm just not a fan of hard cookies. Help?
Well, first of all, I apologize for being late. My full time job is an event specialist for a catering company and I am in the middle of Christmas party madness and Hanukkah hell. I love my job very much, but I just wanted to clarify that, although I wanted to answer your question on time, my schedule hasn't allowed it. (It was either blog or have a pre-bedtime martini and, if you regularly read my blogs, you'll know that the martini will always win in my world.)
So, let's talk decorating cookies. Harder cookies are ideal for decorating because the icing doesn't pull any crumbs off them and make a mess. But I understand your love of soft cookies (when I first started this blog, I think I got "how do I make soft cookies?" from about a dozen different people), so here's my favorite recipe for softer sugar cookies:
1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
4 cups flour
Preheat your oven to 350. No, seriously. Go preheat your oven. Get it hot before you start baking. Don't be dumb.
Mix the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour together. Set aside.
Cream the margarine and the sugar until just combined. Do not beat the shit out of the butter and sugar. You're going to mess up the recipe if you cream them until they're white and fluffy. Go read this blog entry. Then continue.
Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
Add the sour cream.
Add the flour.
When you roll out the cookies, make sure you put them back in the refrigerator to get them cold again before you bake them. The freezer is even better. Then bake them, depending on how bad ass your oven is, for about 15 minutes or so, or just until the edges start to brown.
Now I'm sure you're wondering why I said to use margarine instead of butter, because if you know me, you know I love butter and think that margarine is weird and creepy. Without going into the science of what exactly makes margarine weird and creepy, let me just tell you that when its cold, butter is hard and margarine still magically remains soft. Let that be your visual of why your cookies will be softer and save me the trouble of grossing you out and turning you off of margarine forever. Margarine = soft cookies. Plus, you've got sour cream in there too and the extra fat will help keep them soft.
These cookies may get some crumbs in your icing, but you asked for soft cookies, so that's what you get. I always try and deliver.
And if you ever want traditional sugar cookies that are ideal for decorating, the "My Cookies are Vulgar and Offensive" blog will give you the best recipe, courtesy of my Aunt Mary. Plus, there's a picture of some hilarious cookie cutters of people doing it that I'm dying to use. And by the way, does anyone know where I can buy this Mr. T cookie jar?? If someone can find that for me I'll be eternally indebted to you and will be able to say "I pity da fool" with more street credit. Cookie jars= street cred, right?
On a side note, I'm on this signature cocktail kick with all of my holiday parties and I have to recommend the delicious champagne flute full of heaven better known as The Poinsettia. It's half cranberry, half champagne, and all awesome. You're welcome.