Monday, December 21, 2009

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Cut-Out Recipe!

This past weekend, I received these wonderful cookie cutters from Williams Sonoma Outlet sent to me by my friend Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen. They are very large cookie cutters with type-set-like letters that you slide into place and imprint in the dough with a plunger attached to the cutter. So cool! I did try frosting one of the cookies but the frosting made the words harder to see. Next time, I will try adding some piped frosting decorations around the borders.

I used a new sugar cookie recipe for these cut-outs that I really, really like. The cookies stayed neat and the imprints were very easy to read. If that's not enough good news, they taste fantastic! I will be using this recipe for my sugar cookie cut outs from now on.

Yesterday, we had our whole family for dinner and I passed the platter of cookies to Mack's mother (our daughter) first. When she saw the cookie with her son's name on it she got a little misty-eyed. Today we babysat for our grandson all day for the very first time while his parents were at work. He is just a joy and so sweet-natured.

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Celebration Sugar Cookies
Adapated from Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans
~from Savoring Time in the Kitchen
Printable Recipe

2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) vegetable shortening (I used Crisco)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, in a large bowl beat the butter, vegetable shortening and sugar until smooth and somewhat lighter in color, about 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and mix until just blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture until just incorporated. The dough should be soft and smooth.

Divide the dough in half and shape it into 2 disks about 6 inches in diameter. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll without sticking, approximately 1 hour.

With the oven rack positioned in the center, preheat the oven to 350° F . Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Unwrap one piece of dough and place on lightly floured rolling surface. With a floured rolling pin. roll the dough out to about 12-inches wide and 3/16 inch thick and cut out cookies. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets using a thin spatula, placing them 1 inch apart. Unwrap the second piece of dough and repeat the rolling and cutting process. Dough scraps can be gathered, re-rolled and cut.

Bake one sheet of cookies at a time for approximately 14 minutes or until golden at the edges. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or sheet of parchment or waxed paper to cool.

The cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week or frozen for one month.

Frost and decorate as desired.


Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

Oh my goodness Susan! The message cookies are perfection! I especially like the cookie for dearest Mack :-) Kathleen sent me some cutters, and I loved playing with them. Your mosaic is just so precious! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Marigene said...

Cute cookies, Susan....but baby Mack is beautiful!

La Table De Nana said...

The cookies are cute..the recipe looks great:) But nothing beat ethereally gorgeous Mack:) look at him!! Yum yum!!!!xx

Carol said...

Looks like you had a fantastic day! He is one handsome little guy! Gorgeous mosaic, Susan! The cookies look awesome!

Really nice of Kathleen! I think we should all send her a puppy :)

Carol said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Susan!

vignette design said...

Darling cookies. I love the wording and didn't know you could do that! Thanks for the recipe. Merry Christmas! --Delores

Kathleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen said...

They look great! Glad you got them in time.. I will try the sugar cookie recipe, I used Ina's shortbread. First time they were fine, today they came out like an enlarged Pillsbury dough boy!
Mack is just precious..the best gift ever! Enjoy him

Marsha said...

Susan, no matter how perfect your cookies look (and they are perfect) nothing compares when shown in the same post as darling little Mack! He is such a beautiful baby with such expressive eyes.

I hope you have a truly wonderful Christmas especially your "first" as a Nana :)

Foley said...

Great job on the cookies - but how could you miss with such a special inspiration!
Remember I get him in January!!!!

Sweet of Kathleen - but I think we should all send her a little kitty!!

A Grain of Salt said...

Susan, that is the sweetest mosaic I've ever seen! He is precious! Fantastic job on the cookies!

Michelle said...

I saw those cookie cutters with letters on Kathleen's blog too and I MUST have them! Waiting to see if they go on sale at WS!

Darling baby and your mosaic is wonderful!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Awww! He is adorable - but then you already knew that. :)

Barbara said...

Lovely cookies, Susan, and thank you for all the links! Had no idea Williams Sonoma had those cookie cutters.
Your grandson is adorable! That's the sweetest mosaic...Mack is such a happy baby.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Erica (Irene) said...

I love your cookies with the message....and the gingerbread are adorable. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I just found your Blog and I love it.

Merry Christmas!

Joanne said...

This post made ME a little misty-eyed! How adorable are those cookies, especially with the personalized writing on them. You could make so many personalized cookie gifts with these. All of your cookies look amazing actually. I wish I were there to try some!

Leslie said...

What adorable cookies. Just found your blog through Tastespotting!

Cindy said...

The cookies are nice, but the star of this post is little Mack! See he's still holding on to that full head of hair. Enjoy all those precious moments!

And Merry Christmas!

Carol said...

Beautiful baby Mack!!! Happy Holidays!

Cynthia said...

Susan, a beautiful mosaic of your adorable Mack.

Lovely cookie platters .... you make the cutest reindeer cookies and pretty candy canes. The message cookies look like fun.

ellen b. said...

Hello Susan! How very sweet to be able to enjoy your little grandson at Christmas time. Your cookies look yummy. I love those little reindeers!!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Beautiful. COngratulations on being a Nana.....

eileeninmd said...

Congrats on your adorable new grandson. He is a cutie! Your sugar cookies look so good. I wish i could eat one now.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Jami said...

So cute! I just got the same cookie cutters as a gift, and I'd love any advice you have to dish... I had a hard time transferring the cookies, once I had cut them out, onto the cookie sheet where they would bake. Advice? Thanks!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Thank you, one and all! These cookies were so much fun to make.

Jami, perhaps try putting more flour on your rolling surface and use a flour-dusted spatula to lift them next time. I like to lift each cookie with a spatula, flip it over onto my hand, and carefully remove the excess dough and then flip it back gently onto the baking sheet. I hope that helps!

janelle said...

I just found you from searching on Tastespotting: your cookie photo is gorgeous!

Marysol said...

As if I didn't have enough cookie cutters, I was about to look up W & S.
Thank goodness little Mack's smile distracted me, long enough to come to my senses.
Is it possible for a baby to be too precious?!

Hugs to you, and cuddles to the little man.

Peggy said...

I saw these cookie cutters as I was doing Christmas shopping this year! Hopefully they're not all gone because you made me want to snag a pair and try this sugar cookie recipe right away!

Michelle said...

Guess what Santa brought me for Christmas? Yep the Message in a Cookie Cutters and I was so happy!