Some of my favorite memories are of baking in the kitchen with my mom and siblings. Every December, we'd help her bake and decorate dozens of types of Christmas cookies. The most fun were, of course, also the messiest. Picture it: Six kids (sometimes eight, or nine, if my cousins joined us) crowded around a kitchen table, smearing sugar cookies with various shades of colored icing and sprinkles. I cringe now, thinking about how much of a whirlwind we were, but Mom really seemed to love those moments as much as we did.
Susan's Sugar Cookie Recipe:
1 cup butter, softened
1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Cream butter, cream cheese, & sugar. Beat in egg yolk and extracts. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda, and gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to 1/8'' thickness. Cut with cookie cutter dipped in flour. Place cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet and cook at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Cool before removing from sheet, then place cookies on backing racks.
3 to 4 tsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup confectioner sugar
Assorted food coloring
Combine milk and extract, then stir in confectioner sugar, then blend in food coloring to desired hue. Spread onto cookies.
Store cookies in an air-tight container, between layers of wax paper.
I like using a combination of sprinkles and icing to really personalize each cookie. Our annual gathering to bake the cookies is in a few weeks. Any time spent with my family is special to me, but this event really is one of my favorite times of year.
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