Patriotic Sugar Cookies

I couldn’t resist making a patriotic dessert in honor of the Olympics! GO USA!

Confession: I’ve never made cut-out sugar cookies before! I have a huge bag full of cookie cutters, but didn’t have a rolling pin until this past Christmas (thanks, Mom!), and since you can’t really make cut-out cookies without a rolling pin, well, I’ve just never made them before. I have a lot of fancy cookie recipes on my “to try” list, but I just stuck with the basics this time around!

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies (recipe originally from allrecipes.com)
Note: The original recipe says it makes 5 dozen cookies, which is entirely too many for my taste, so I cut the recipe in half. The values shown are for the halved recipe.

3/4 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
3. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
4. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour. Can leave it in the fridge overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 400º.
6. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. Cut into desired shapes. I cut mine into stars (patriotic theme, remember?). I also threw in some hearts and hearts with arrows since it’s so close to Valentine’s Day.
7. Place cookies 1″ apart on cookie sheet. The original recipe says to use an ungreased cookie sheet. I sprayed PAM for baking on my cookie sheet, just in case.
8. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in a preheated oven. Cool completely before frosting.

sugar cookies

Sugar Cookie Frosting (recipe originally from allrecipes.com)
Makes 3 cups

4 c confectioners sugar
1/2 c shortening
5 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional: food coloring

1. In a large bowl, cream together confectioners sugar and shortening until smooth.
2. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff. (About 5 minutes)
3. Color with food coloring, if desired. I kept mine white for the stars, but then dyed it pink for the hearts!

The cookies were great! Fairly soft and chewy, they were super easy to make and came out looking pretty awesome. The recipe made a lot of cookies, so I’m glad I decided to cut it in half! The frosting isn’t my absolute favorite. On it’s own, it was a little too sweet for my taste, but it went well with the cookies. And I really liked that once the frosting set, I could stack the cookies without ruining the decoration. That’s a big win in my book, since I usually take them into work!

Next time, I’m going to use these cool sugar skull cookie cutters/stamps that I got for Christmas! (Another awesome baking-themed gift from my mom!)

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