I could not have been more excited when I saw that Ulrike of Küchenlatein chose sugar cookies for this week's Tuesday with Dorie project! Making Christmas cutout sugar cookies is one of my favorite December traditions, so these could not have come at a better time. And they capped off a fabulous Christmasy weekend, filled with some of our other beloved annual holiday events:
The Town Christmas Parade
We started out early at our town Christmas parade, which my son was marching in with his Cub Scout den. We had to get there at 7:30 a.m., an hour before the parade began, so that our 6 and 7 year old boys would have ample time to
And if you weren't careful, you'd get pelted by a Jolly Rancher. It could be any Main Street parade anywhere. Well, okay, we probably have more parading beauty queens here in the South than in other parts of the country. Not that we have more beautiful people, of course. We just like to honor ours more formally, preferably with a tiara.
Trimming the Christmas Tree
Once I let go of my Norman Rockwell visions about how this was going to go for us, everything fell into place. Last year, instead of singing Christmas carols together as we hiked deep into the woods in search of the perfect tree, we grabbed the first tree we saw on the lot next to the BP station while our colicky three month old screamed her fool head off, and then we drove through Little Caesar's for a $5 pizza on the way home. I don't remember that Norman drawing. This year, we refereed numerous squabbles about who got to hang which ornament, chased down our three year old when she decided to streak across the front yard for no apparent reason, and at the end of the day, instead of sipping hot cocoa in front of the fireplace and admiring the tree, raced around with dish towels to clean up the mess made when my kids managed to pull off the never-seen-before milk-spilling hat trick (even our one year old found a way to spill milk out of her spill-proof sippy cup). But that's okay -- we were together, we love each other, and the house got (sort of) decorated. Not Norman, but still good.
The Office Christmas Party
Who doesn't love these? We went to my husband's office Christmas party on Saturday night. Just in case you haven't had the pleasure of attending one before, let me just say: there ain't no party like a law firm Christmas party. All of those lawyers in their campy holiday-themed ties, letting their hair down and reveling in the merriment of the season . . . wooooo! Good times. In all seriousness, my hubs works with some great people, so we got to enjoy a mediocre dinner with our friends while debating the Important Issues of the Day, like whether Elisha Cuthbert is a B-list or C-list actress (I voted B-list based on her work in Old School and was accused of being a grade inflator).
The Making of the Sugar Cookies
But no December tradition is more loved in my house than making Christmas cookies, so these sugar cookies were the highlight of our weekend, hands down. We started making dough first thing in the morning, since I knew that it would need some chill time. In college, we used to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas over and over again this time of year, and our favorite line was by that greedmeister Sally, before she learned the True Meaning of Christmas
(say it with me, Lis): "All I want is what's coming to me. All I want is my fair share." Well, as parents, we feel like one of our most important jobs is to help our kids become less Sally-like and more Linus-like, but we still have a loooooong way to go. So my kids are very concerned about making sure that they get their fair share in the baking department, and if one dumps a cup of flour in the bowl, the other wants to dump a cup of flour in the bowl. If one works the KitchenAid controls:
The other gets to cut the dough in half:
All even-steven. I'm not sure how this is going to go once #3 gets in on the baking action.
This dough was insanely good. I had no idea that sugar cookie dough could be so amazing. However, that's the last dough commentary that you'll be hearing from me, because I realized this weekend that I've GAINED TEN POUNDS since joining TWD in August, so I either need to quit TWD, or at a bare minimum, quit eating dough. I'm going to try to stop eating dough first.
I wish I could quit you:
The dough rolled out fairly well, although not quite as easily as the linzer sable dough. It definitely needs to be well-chilled for these to cut out easily, so I kept returning the dough to the fridge to chill it back up. So if you do these as cutouts, they won't be the quickest cookies you'll ever make, but they are easy enough. And so, so worth it.
My son, using his superhuman strength to cut out a snowman:
I let the kids decorate these by dumping massive amounts of sprinkles on them. After they did a dozen or so cutout cookies, I rolled the remaining dough into a log and did some of the slice and bake kind. I made an extra batch of dough for my freezer, and when I make these again right before Christmas, I might try to do a few cut out cookies with icing. I probably won't waste too much time with the decorating, though, because these don't last long. They pretty much got eaten as fast as I could pull them out of the oven.
These are right up there with the best sugar cookies that I've ever had. It couldn't be a simpler recipe, but as usual, Dorie knocks it out of the park with just the right proportion of ingredients. This is now my new sugar cookie recipe. Thanks, Ulrike, for the picking a cookie that is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit!