I've been chatting with Janet via email and phone conversations for several months now. While we've never met in person we've become great friends. We talk about our foodie finds and lust over Le Creuset and Williams-Sonoma. We talk about life and family, baking, shopping and blogging. We laugh and sometimes we cry. Sometimes we send eachother little gifts from time to time and that's where these cookies come in.
While Memorial Day is not a "happy" holiday, it is about remembering our fallen soldiers and honoring our veterans. I wanted to do something to acknowledge a brave and courageous young man who is currently fighting for our freedom in Afghanistan. I've sent a couple care packages to Brandon but this time, this one was for Janet. I know these are just sugar cookies but I wanted to let her know that I think of her and her son daily and I appreciate his service and her friendship.
I got these cookie cutters in December but I just now got around to using them, and I broke them in in a perfect way, don't you think? They were really fun and easy to use. You just slide the letters or phrases into a channel on the underside of the cutter, push the cookie cutter into the dough, then you gently press in the plunger to imprint a message on your cookie. Once you lift the cutter, you're left with a perfect personalized cookie. This set also comes with a heart shape cutter which I'll be using in the future for a special little girl ;-)
Sugar Cookies from Williams-Sonoma
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- Food coloring gel (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Over a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and a few drops of food coloring gel and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixture occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another minute.
Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and continue beating until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls, Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 2 days.
Dough can be made ahead of time up to this point.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
Dip cookie cutters into flour just before using and cut out shapes. Place on the baking sheet. Gather up the scraps, reroll them and cut out additional cookies. Refrigerate the cookies until firm 20 to 30 minutes. You want the cookies to be really cold and hard otherwise when you bake them, they'll spread and lose their shape.
Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the parchment sheets with cookies onto wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly onto the racks and let cool completely.
Decorate with royal icing. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Makes 12 to 15 cookies (I got 20 cookies).Royal Icing Using Egg Whites from Joy of Baking
- 1 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until foamy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth.
The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
Thank you Brandon! Be safe and come home soon!