Every year it’s the same. Valentine’s Day rolls around, my husband gets grouchy–claiming that the holiday was a conspiracy of greeting card companies. While he’s out picking out a sappy card for me, me and the kiddos get to baking!
As soon as my little man was big enough to stir, I had him in the kitchen with me. It’s one of the few places in the house where it’s ok to make a mess. In fact, it’s almost necessary! Each holiday we drag out the cookie cutters and get to rolling out our sugar cookies.
The recipe I use is so easy. Simple. It came from one of my Moma’s friends who enjoyed making them with her daughter, and I’d always liked the sound of that. Now, in our new house, I found an old farm table that my Daddy converted into an island. It’s a perfect place for them to sit, measure, stir, and occasionally sneak a taste of the dough. You know they’ve had fun when we’re scrubbing flour out of hair and eyebrows at bedtime!
I’ve learned to mass produce these cookies. Teachers, church programs, family and co-workers come to expect them with each holiday. I never have to sign up for party favors for my kids’ parties. They’ve already filled in my name in the blank next to “Cookies.” A helpful tip: Do NOT place a tupperware container FULL of your painstakingly-hand decorated homemade cookies on the top of the car while you buckle the kids in the car. Chances are, you’ll forget where you put them, and by the time you realize it, they, along with your really nice container are bird food on the side of the highway. Trust me.
Now, the ones the kids help with are NOT the ones that are approved for “public consumption” I keep those at home for us to eat, and wait until they’ve lost interest to make the pretty ones. Theirs are my favorites, though. They’re the ones that are broken and misshapen, with clumpy glaze and suspicious toddler-sized teeth marks in a few!
The best part is the sprinkles. They’re like glitter, adding an extra sparkle to the finished product. Also, like glitter, sprinkles make a MESS! I find them in the strangest places for days after a cookie-making-session. Go figure.
More than the fun of cookies and the delicious reward we get for our hard work, I hope I’m instilling my two kiddos the idea of traditions. They’re still young, but I want them to remember some day the fun of making a huge mess, one February afternoon, instead of taking a nap, eating waaaaay too much sugar and watching the cookies rise through the window of the oven while waiting to hear the timer ding.
Maddie’s Sugar Cookies:
1 c butter
1 1/4 c granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
4 c flour
Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Cream together with a mixer. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to butter mixture. Mix. On a WELL floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with desired shapes. Place on a baking sheet ( I like to use parchment paper to line the pan) Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
8-10 T water
Mix all in a large bowl. The water and extract will dissolve the sugar into the consistency of School Glue. Add food coloring if desired.
Once the cookies are cooled, simply dip the cookie facedown, allow excess to drip back into bowl, and place cookie on cooling rack to dry. Protect your counter with a baking sheet or dish towel. Top with desired sprinkles.
I actually had to measure the glaze ingredients out today for this recipe. I usually just eyeball it.