Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ChezCindy: Cut-out Cookies

Heart Shaped Cut-out Cookies
Holidays often bring forward the tradition of baking cookies, certainly at Christmas.  But for me, Valentine's Day has always meant making cut-out cookies.  I'm sure this stems from family times in the kitchen with my mother.  She had a large collection of cookie cutters.  I have early memories of rolling out cookie dough, stamping in the cookie cutter to create the shaped cookies.  I also have a happy memory from my early teenage years of baking my own cut-out cookies.  Generally, any cookie dough that is used for cut-outs calls for refrigerating the dough before rolling it out.  That step didn't sit well with me.  I wanted to complete the process without having to wait 30-60 minutes for the dough to chill.  So I set out looking through all of my mother's cookbooks for a cut-out cookie recipe that could be used straight away.  I find it interesting that the young age of 13 marks the beginning of when I began researching recipes!
The recipe used here for these heart shaped cut-outs is the one I found at that early age.  It is a basic sugar cookie that rolls out well; the scraps come together easily to roll out for a second pass; and it makes a delicious soft cookie.   
Sugar Cookie Cut-outs 
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time,beating well after each addition.  Blend in the vanilla. 
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, blending well. 
Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick.  Stamp out the cookie cutter shapes as desired.  Gather the scraps together into a ball and roll out for a second pass.  Continue until all dough has been cut into desired shapes. 
Place onto lightly greased baking sheets. 
Bake in the oven for 10-11 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Remove from the baking sheets.  Cool before frosting.   

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