Every year during the Holidays our family gathers together for our annual Cookie Baking Day!  We usually plan for it the Sunday before Christmas and we spend the day together baking lots of delicious Christmas cookies and the guys hang out and watch football – and wait for the cookies to be done so they can eat them!

Our traditional baking day usually involved Rob’s parents, his sister, Michelle, and her kids.  Over the summer Michelle and her family moved to New Mexico so they couldn’t be here for this year’s bake-fest!  On top of it, my poor mother-in-law ended up with a migraine and was sick all day.  So we ended up skipping Sunday’s bake-fest.  With having four (yes – 4) foster children in our home for the holidays, I didn’t want my mother-in-law to miss out on baking with all the “grand”kids.  We had appointments and plans already on Monday and Rob’s other sister was coming in Tuesday with her husband, daughter, and her daughter’s boyfriend.  We decided to wait until Tuesday when the whole family could be together.  And a bake-fest we had!!!

For years I searched for a great sugar cookie recipe and failed to find one.  About 3 years ago I found a recipe for sugar cookies that was easy and simple and didn’t have to be refrigerated.  So I decided to give it a try and I loved it!  I’ve been using it ever since to make festive cookies for the holidays.  It’s a versatile recipe and using any kind of cookie cutters – you can make cookies for any holiday – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter – even Fourth of July.  The kids had a blast cutting out the shapes and then decorating the cookies with royal icing and sprinkles.  Truthfully – so did mommy.  I love making and decorating sugar cookies.  I just wish I was better at it!  I’m sure with a lot of practice I could be, but with 4 kiddos all under 4 running around, it’s not exactly something that I can do easily!

What I love about these cookies is they bake up nicely – a little chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside and they are very light.  They cool quickly and hold their shape.  I have to admit we used pre-made Wilton Royal Icing.  With 4 kids – it just made things a lot easier.  We rotated bottles and everyone got a chance to have their own color and sprinkles/decorations for a little bit.  It definitely eliminated a lot of fighting and kept things neater than using pastry bags.

So, everyone enjoyed a chance making, baking, and decorating our Christmas cookies and of course – eating them!  The kids have been loving it with a cookie for an afternoon snack the days after Christmas.

If you’re looking for a good sugar cookie recipe, I would definitely suggest this one!

Sugar Cookies-Raw

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. clear almond extract
2 3/4 cups AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

1)  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2)  In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3)  Beat in egg and extracts.
4)  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
5)  Add flour mixture to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
6)  Do not chill dough.  Divide into 2 even balls.
7)  On a floured surface, roll each ball to approximately 12″ wide and 1/8″ thick .
8)  Use various cookie cutters (dipped in flour for best results) and cut out various shapes of cookies.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
9)  Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheets 6-7 minutes or until lightly browned.  Be careful as they can burn very easily.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies give or take.  This will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.

Recipe courtesy of wilton.com