My Favorite Sugar Cookies: Sweets for the Sweetheart

He says the cookies sure helped. I had a great time on my first date with Brian and I wanted to somehow let him know (Of course, I was  hoping we would go out again!).  We had gone on a double date with his roommate and his girlfriend, doing all sorts of fun things.  While playing Frisbee golf in a beautiful park, they surprised us with a picnic dinner kept secret in their car. Later, there was ice cream and a “hoedown” to go to. The time was fun and I enjoyed getting to know him better. I was pretty sure he had enjoyed it too, but I thought a little encouragement (but not too much) couldn’t hurt!
What should I do? Cookies. Who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies? (Okay, I didn’t make these sugar cookies for him.  Little hearts may have been a little too much encouragement.) I made the cookies, filled a plate and dropped them by his apartment when I knew he would not be there, but when his roommate was there.  Yes, I was sneaky.
It must have done the trick because he did ask me out again. Later, he told me the rest of the story.  Brian’s mom is known for her chocolate chip cookies and for sending dozens of them back to college with him. If I had known, I surely wouldn’t have dared to make him chocolate chip! Brian saved one of my cookies, brought it home with him and shared it with his dad.  His dad assumed it was one of Brian’s mom’s cookies. Brian asked his dad, “What do you think of the cookie?” His dad replied, “It is good, as usual.” Brian smiled and said, “Mom did not make that cookie.” His dad grinned ear to ear! He understood.

My favorite Sugar Cookies

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon  cream of tartar
1 cup of butter at room temperature
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon clear vanilla (clear is better, than brown, for sugar cookies and white icing)
1 teaspoon almond extract (don’t skip this!)
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar and set aside. Cream the butter, sugar, egg and flavoring thoroughly.  Stir in the flour, mixing well. The dough will be very soft. Cover and refrigerate 4-5 hours or overnight. *

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with one-half of the dough at a time, roll on floured surface to a thickness of ¼” with a lightly floured rolling pin and cut with lightly floured cutters.

photo 1Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are brown slightly. Cool for a minute on the baking sheet before transferring with a spatula, to wax paper. Cool before icing.

* Idea: Since the dough needs to be refrigerated, I usually divide the making of the cookies in two days. I make the dough one day and the next day I bake the cookies and ice them.  This also seems to be more enjoyable to me since rolling cookies out takes a little more time. I usually double this recipe, because these cookies go fast in our house! Then there also may be some to give away.

Butter cream frosting

(This is the best icing for these cookies! This recipe makes enough to ice a double batch of the sugar cookies.)
1/3 cup soft butter
Pinch of salt
3 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk or cream
1 ½ teaspoons clear vanilla
With a mixer, cream thoroughly butter, salt and 1 cup of the powdered sugar until light and fluffy. (At first, it will be very dry looking, but soon it will become creamy.) Add remaining powdered sugar and milk, alternately, blending until smooth and of spreading consistency. Add vanilla.

Divide the icing into small bowls or cups for the addition of food color.

*Trick- I love this icing, but it is soft and creamy, making it difficult for stacking the cookies. I place a layer of iced cookie on a plate and place in the refrigerator or freezer until the icing has hardened.  This does not take very long.  After this layer has hardened, I add another layer of iced cookies and place it back in the refrigerator. My family actually enjoys these cookies cold.poppyIMG_2371

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