I spent 35 minutes in the checkout line at the grocery store today… ugh.
At moments like this, I simply surrender myself to the fate that awaits me, take a deep breath, and find an interesting magazine to read. I joined the back of the line, which stretched all the way to the back of the store, and pondered buying a pork loin for dinner after staring at it for a good 10 minutes.
Yes, let it be known… Washingtonians are preparing themselves for the wrath of hurricane Sandy. And apparently this means stocking up on all the peanut butter, canned beans, and toilet paper that one can find. Looking in people’s carts you might think that we were preparing for Y2K all over again. Yet here I was in line with my eggs, confectioners’ sugar, food coloring, and butter. I was preparing for Hurricane Sandy in my own special way—I was getting supplies for a weekend baking extravaganza.
I’ve wanted to bake some sugar cookies lately after purchasing a pumpkin cookie cutter at Hill’s Kitchen, one of my favorite baking stores in the district. I decided this weekend was the perfect time to put it to use. These cookies are fairly simple to make—they’re the old fashioned rolled sugar cookies. And the frosting comes together in a pinch. Feel free to get creative with the decorations. I actually purchased some white sanding sugar and used food coloring to make it green for the stems. If you’re not feeling adventurous, you can simply buy some green sprinkles at the store.
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites, beaten
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
In a bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar. Using electric mixer, beat in 2 beaten egg whites for about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to hold its shape. Add desired food coloring to frosting and transfer into a piping bag for decoration.
Heather’s Helpful Hints
Make sure your rolled dough produces cookies that are uniform in thickness. If some cookies are thicker than others, they will take longer to cook on the baking sheet.