Monday, December 15, 2014

Cookie Joy: Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Happy Monday, you guys! I've got a recipe to share with you that I'm kind of excited about. Once upon a time, when all was right in the world and Everyday Food magazine was still in circulation, I made these lovely cinnamon sugar cookies for the fam. I had every intention of decorating them, but alas and alack, they were gobbled up before I had the chance.

I call that a win.

This year, as in yesterday, Abby decided what she REALLY wanted to do more than ANYTHING in the world was make cutout cookies. Excellent. Hey, guess what, though? In my minimalistic frenzy, I got rid of all my Christmas cookie cutters. Oops. No worries, I just called my Mommy, who let me borrow hers. 

So I swung by my parents' house to pick up the cookie cutters on my way to the grocery store (I had all the ingredients on hand, but it was my day to go), and by the time I got back, Abby was "really into this math homework." Lo, I say unto you: Whose kid is this? I seriously wonder sometimes, vivid birth memories be damned. Shockingly, after the cookies started rolling out of the oven, she deemed it time for a study break.

I had hoped to show them decorated. It was not meant to be.

I used a couple of cutters I vividly remember from my youth, so that was fun. Thanks, Mom. Also: This is the first time in almost three years I've looked for something I needed and couldn't find it. I told the girls we could just make round "ornament" cookies with a drinking glass (Johanna was all, yeah!, and Abby was all, lame!), but I like this borrowing thing even better because traditions!

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
Link: Everyday Food, Dec. 2006

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
decorating sugar and candies, such as nonpareils and red cinnamon dots (optional) 
confectioners sugar, for decorating (optional)

Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Divide dough in half; form into two 3/4-inch-thick disks. Wrap each in plastic; refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. (TRISHA'S NOTE: This is a lot of work. I just beat the butter and sugar together, add the egg and vanilla, then add the flour et al. Also, forget wrapping the disks in plastic and refrigerating; I just go for it then and there. You guys, I got stuff to do.)

    Roll out and freeze: Place one disk between two sheets of floured parchment paper; roll out to an 1/8-inch thickness, lightly dusting dough with flour as needed. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters; if dough gets soft, chill 10 minutes. (To bake right away, follow directions in step 3.) Using a metal spatula with a thin blade, transfer cut-out shapes to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps; cut more shapes. Repeat with remaining disk. Place baking sheet in freezer; once frozen, transfer shapes to a resealable plastic bag. Freeze up to 1 month. (
    TRISHA'S NOTE: Huh. Never tried this.)

    Bake: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment; bake until edges are golden, 10 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through--this time range applies whether dough is frozen or not. Cool cookies 1 minute on sheets, and transfer to wire racks to cool completely. (
    TRISHA'S NOTE: Wait, you're supposed to rotate halfway through? Oops.)

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