Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Sugar cookies

Having a three and a half year old is tiring. However, having a big list of activities and preparing a few for the week makes for a much easier life. Okay, so it doesn't always work out. You know, that life thing just gets in the way sometimes. So I'd been planning to make these sugar cookies since last week. Last time we made them, we were still living with mum and dad, but they are so unbelievably easy that they should really replace buying any sort of biscuits. Because they go so great with tea. And coffee. And milk. And strawberries. And ice cream. And pasta. Okay, maybe not pasta. Unless you're in the Netherlands where pasta is what they call sweet spread - i.e. chocolate spread. And then it definitely goes with these.

Before cookie making, today's schedule included a walk in the woods as we wanted to go foraging for a bit of wood to make a curtain pole. As we walked across a field, a flash of blue caught our eye.

What a beautiful little door. When we opened it up, it even had Arrietty's diary inside it. Who knew the Borrowers lived in Wigan?! Alana thought that it was where the dummy fairy lived though, so hopefully that might prompt her to actually leave her dummies out tonight for the fairy.

We managed to find a couple of pieces of hazel in some scrub land, so we'll have a curtain pole for the lounge as well as a new hand-made pole for Alana's bedroom.

When we got home, it was pretty much straight on to the cookie making mission. As we'd been using all the cutters for play dough recently, the cookie dough was renamed play dough: this was most welcome, as it meant that it didn't get eaten as usually happens when baking!

Sugar Cookies Recipe

Okay, so I tend to mix my measures, depending on what's easiest. In this case, I think that it's easiest to weigh butter (or use the markers on the side of the packet) and measure volume for the rest.

These cookies are fantastic for icing and they hold up really well for hanging too: you do know Christmas is only just over two months away? ;)

170g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar (granulated still works fine though)
1/4 tsp salt (add another 1/4 tsp if using unsalted butter)
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
2 cups plain flour

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (basically give it a good beating until it's not so yellow in colour).

Add the vanilla and egg along with a little flour to bind it.

Gradually add the rest of the flour and the salt and stir to combine. I tend to use my hands to bring the last of it together. When all the flour is mixed in, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour. You can leave it for a week or two if you need to, so great to have on hand for spontaneous cookie making!

When the dough has firmed up, roll out the dough (I tend to do about 1/4 to 1/3 at a time if space is short) and get cutting. I like to roll the cookies pretty thinly, but anything up to about 5-6mm works well (about the thickness of two pound coins).

Place the cookies onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for around 6-12 minutes at 160 centigrade. The time taken will depend on the size and thickness of the biscuits, so keep checking. You want them to be just golden at the edges.

Place the cookies on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Enjoy with a well-earned cuppa.

Or if you're really patient, you can ice them. I'll probably get around to another post about that some time, but at the moment, I'm a little busy eating cookies.

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