Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Cookies

Recently I was thumbing through old magazines my mom gave me and tearing out ideas for future use when I came across a simple idea and wondered why I had not done this before: adding food coloring to the sugar cookie dough before baking. I think this came out of a 2 year old issue of Better Homes & Gardens, but I am not sure anymore. Normally, I get out our ingredients, mix up the dough, roll out our dough, cut out the cookies, wash the blades to the hand mixer and other bowls and utensils while cookies are baking, and then start a whole new mess mixing up a batch of frosting, but this avoids all that extra work (not to mention extra sugar, which face it, nobody in this family really needs). Smart right? Since I had just gotten the shamrock cookie cutter, this seemed like a good time to try it out, using green food coloring, of course.

My little kitchen helper and I used this recipe for cut-out cookies, which is a buttery cookie that is easy to cut out.
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix.
  2. In another bowl, stir the flour mixture, baking powder, and salt together. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend until smooth.
  3. I separated the dough into two balls since we were planning to make neon green and regular green cookies.
  4. This is the point when we added food coloring. My little helper added much more then we needed, about 10 or maybe even 12 drops when 3 would have been fine. No big deal, though. Then, I used the hand mixer to combine it all again.
  5. Then, I wrapped both balls of dough in plastic wrap and chilled them in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies and place on cookie sheet. (Tip: I like to cover mine with parchment paper first.) Add sugar sprinkles, if desired. We used green, and lots of them when my little man was in charge.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Makes about 2 dozen cut-out cookies.

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