Adventures, Costa Rica, Creative Cooking, Family, Wendi Thinks

Quick and Easy Sugar Cookies

We had so much fun this month. Our family loves how Christmas has the power to bring people together. Like spending the day with this amazing family that GingerSnap and El Gringo met on an airplane to Costa Rica!

The ladies of this family came to our home and spent part of their day with us, teaching us how to decorate sugar cookies that will hold their glaze in Costa Rica! Yes folks, some recipes from the USA just don’t work very well here.

Mainly it is due to the humidity, more than the lack of supplies. So we were elated when the mother showed us her incredible skills and tips to making the cutest cookies.

Her first tip was to add cream of tartar to the glaze made simply of powdered sugar and water. Do not add corn syrup. The corn syrup creates a sticky surface in Costa Rica, preventing it from setting properly and fully drying. But cream of tartar allows the glaze to fully set, while still holding its sheen. Cool tip!

Her second tip was to use a ziplock bag with a tiny hole to pipe out the frosting in BRIGHT BOLD colors!!! No fancy, expensive tools needed. Just ziplock bags and toothpicks.

Her third tip was to store the glaze in the freezer, not letting it get too loose or gooey. So maybe make two bags of each color and rotate them while you decorate.

Her last tip was to make a great cookie dough that doesn’t require any freezing or cooling time. My family actually enjoys this cookie a lot!! So much so, the cookies were gone in just a couple days. (I’ll copy the recipe below, in case the link doesn’t work).

We thoroughly enjoyed the day we had with this adorable family. We are so happy they could stay and enjoy a yummy lunch, provided by GingerSnap, of personal grilled pizzas. It was the perfect day!

Merry Christmas,


Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6-8 minutes

Total Time: 38 minutes

Soft cut out sugar cookie recipe that keeps its shape and dough does not need to be chilled before baking- perfect edges every time!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes
  3. Beat in extracts and egg.
  4. In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt  with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.
  5. DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).
  6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes:

  • You can use salted butter (just out the 1/2 teaspoon salt). In the past I’ve omitted the salt and the recipe is fine. It is more bland but these cookies are made for frosting. 
  • If you must chill the dough just leave it on the counter top for 10 minutes before rolling or work the dough with your hands for a few minutes.
  • You can omit the almond extract if you do not have it available, however the taste is really fantastic with the hint of almond.
  • Keep in mind that the recipe yield will vary according to how thick you roll your cookies and how large or small your cutters are.
  • Bake for 6 minutes to test. They should be soft. Leave them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cool completely. If you reach 7-8 minutes and the edges turn brown your cookie will be crisper.

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