The holidays often bring to mind the image of baking sugar cookies, cut into all sorts of holiday shapes, and decorated with sprinkles. It's a fun holiday tradition you can start with your preschoolers, or even your older children. They will have long lasting memories of baking in the kitchen with you. So, put on your aprons, and let's get started.
First you need a good sugar cookie recipe. Here is a favorite, that works well with cookie cutters.
In a larger mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together till fluffy. Stir in vanilla and eggs. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add flour mixture gradually to butter mixture, alternating with sour cream in portions. Blend well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, separate cookie mixture into 4 portions, use one portion at a time to roll out to 1/4" thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Keep remaining portions refrigerated till ready to use one at a time. Place cut out cookies on cookie sheets approximately 1" apart. Bake at 450 F for 4-6 minutes, or till edges become golden brown.
You can frost them, after cooling, with the basic frosting recipe below. Just mix together all ingredients until smooth. Food coloring can help you get a whole palette of colors to work with.
If you find that your cookies spread during baking, here are some tips to help reduce it.
Starting holiday baking traditions is a great way to get your younger children involved in the festivities of the season. Most young children will be able to help with some part of baking cookies whether it's helping with measuring and mixing or cutting out the cookies and helping frost. Seeing their finished works gives a wonderful sense of self accomplishment. It can also be a learning experience, you can discuss measuring with your older preschoolers, or even learning colors, while frosting, for the youngest bakers.
Ashley Ocampo is a freelance writer and mom who publishes the Labor of Love Recipe Box, a daily newsletter that contains quick, easy dinner ideas for your whole family. To subscribe send a blank email to email@example.com.
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