Simple Sugar Cookies… Really!
My family loves homemade treats, especially Christmas sugar cookies. This works out well for me, as other than rice krispie squares, these are one of the simpler things for me to pull off – aside from going to my favorite recipe – anything pre-made out of a bag.
Unfortunately, my kids are at the age that putting an Oreo in the microwave (to make the double-stuffed-middle warm) no longer passes for “homemade.” Plus, I have one of those “old-fashioned” mothers who believes a pre-made biscuit “will lead to harsher desires in the future.” (Yes, Mother. I believe that is how all criminals started out). Although, she may have a point. As a child, if I got my hands on a store-bought cookie, I grabbed the bag, hid in my closet and piled them away with the speed (and about as much grace) as the Cookie Monster. And, in fact, I still do…
So for all of you who want to give your family something that won’t lead them down the Pepperidge prison path, here are a few simple Christmas sugar cookie recipes that are sure to please both your kids and your mom.
- You will need; 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup of softened butter, 1 ½ cups of white sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Get started by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. Next in a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until it is smooth and there are no lumps. Grab your beaters and beat in egg and vanilla. Now gradually blend in your dry ingredients. Roll the dough into teaspoon-size balls. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets (baking parchment paper works well). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Cool for two minutes on cookie sheets before removing to wire racks.
These are super-simple and delicious. After the cookies are cool, use a pre-made frosting (yes, my mother is cringing) for a little fun and extra flavor.
This next recipe I came across makes a softer cookie, as it uses more baking powder, but it’s nice because you can use cookie cutters to get cool-shaped Christmas cookies – the kids will love it!
- You will need; 1 cup softened butter, 1 cup white sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In large mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and lump-free. Add the flour and baking powder, mix well. Now comes the fun part. If you want round cookies just make into teaspoon-size balls, press with a fork and you are good to go. For shaped Christmas cookies, roll the dough out until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Have the kids press out the shapes. Once finished, sprinkle with white sugar or colored sprinkles. Bake 7-8 minutes until just starting to brown around the edges. Remove and cool for 2 minutes, then place on cooling racks.
To give these cookies some holiday flair, you can also add a few drops of food coloring to the dough before you mix it.
Our last recipe is by far the easiest and a must-do for all you busy moms and dads.
- You will need; 1 trip to the grocery store, 1 shopping cart, 1 package of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie mix.
- When you arrive home, preheat oven and follow the directions on the package. Decorate to add your own personal “homemade” touch. Note: be sure to bury the outer package deep inside your trash can.
These make a nice treat for Santa and a great surprise for Grandma when she comes over to check up on your mothering skills. If she gets suspicious, just make her a nice cup of tea, grab the cookies and sneak off to your closet…