09 February 2010

Tuesdays are for coloring and baking.

I happened to check my reader before I made my to-do list this morning. I stumbled upon this sweet coloring page (hello internet, I love you and all of your free stuff) and decided that Z-cakes and I should spend a little quality time coloring. Our fridge was completely devoid of Valentine-ness and that needed to be remedied stat.


Z-cakes is a big fan of coloring. Not a single day passes that we don't hear "color onda paper!" and a bite-sized easel has taken up permanent residence in the center of our kitchen floor. But today, she sat at the table atop her phone book... "color onda paper mommy, yeah!"


She did a lovely job narrating the whole activity; I don't think she stopped talking for an entire half hour. It was like the Food Network of coloring.



Z: Mommy, bwue heart?
Me: Yep, I 'm coloring a blue heart.
Z: Yeah, mommy bwue heart.
Z: I a bwue heart mommy.
Me: You're coloring a blue heart too?
Z: Yeeeeah! I a bwue heart too mommy. No, gweeeeen heart.
Z: Now bwack heart.

{problem solved}

All that heart coloring got me thinking about heart shaped sugar cookies...and the fact that I was not presently eating them. I suddenly had a severe craving for my mom's sugar cookies. My mom's sugar cookies. Giant, cakey, soft, and delicious. The sugar cookies she hands out on Halloween. The ones that sell out every time she donates them to the care center bake sale. The ones that are part of a balanced breakfast when paired with a glass of milk.


Then I remembered these fabulous cookie cutters that I bought at Sur La Table two years ago that I have never used. The fate of my afternoon was immediately sealed.


Z-cakes didn't help with these cookies (she did, however, eat four of them). I decided that after our morning coloring date, a little mama baking time was well deserved.

I have been making cookies with this recipe for about seven years with varied results. I blame the fact that up until this last year I have hated baking and was most likely subconsciously sabotaging all of my baking attempts. Now I can say that I'm satisfied with the end product. Well, mostly satisfied. They could still be much thicker. Those X's and O's were tricky to work with.


And because I love you...and because I love my mom....here is the recipe:

2 Cups Sugar (minus a couple of Tbsp. if you're above 5,000 feet like me)
1 Cup shortening and butter (1/2 a cup of each)
2 Eggs
1 & 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Milk
6 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking soda (again, if you live above 5,000 feet, cut this in half)
4 tsp. Baking powder (cut this in half too)

Cream butter, shortening, and vanilla together. Add liquid ingredients and then dry ingredients. I like to add the flour one cup at a time so that I don't add too much flour. Roll out on a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 degrees. There's no amount of time given so I start paying attention to mine after about 7 minutes but usually let these bake at least 10 minutes.

Notes: You're going to want to roll these out really really thick. No like, THICK. You are eating them for breakfast after all. You don't want to be hungry by 10:00 now do you? The thick rolling will guarantee that they will be cakey and soft. Of course if you like your sugar cookies thin and crunchy then you should roll them thinner. Or maybe try a different recipe. Also, don't over bake these cookies. As my friend Charlotte taught me, "the two worst things you can do in baking is over mixing and over baking." The over mixing is not really an issue in this case, but over baking is. If you over bake your cookies they will be hard and dry, and your family may run out of milk while trying to finish breakfast.



nina said...

You forgot to say that you can roll them out immediately. The dough doesn't need to be refrigerated. The dough is easy to work with and not sticky. The thicker they are add a minute or so of baking time.
Hope Z-cake colored a Valentine for us as well.

Tiffany said...

Wait a minute--a sugar cookie dough that doesn't have to be chilled? Hallelujah! Thank you!

Also, I love the pictures. Your daughter looks so intense in her coloring--too cute! And I love your hair!

michelle said...

I love these photos!!

And sugar cookies are definitely on the docket for me this week. Wouldn't be valentine's day without them. Your cutters are to die for!

Erin at Vale Design said...

I am in LOVE! Thank you so much for posting those shots. I could not be happier that my printables are going to such cute artists! xoxo

Denise said...

I am dying for those cookie cutters. Also dying over Z-Cakes and her concentrated coloring.

Petit Elefant said...

First of all:

Your photos? swoon.

Your BANGS? !!!!!!!!

Serin said...

I'm still shocked that she knows her shapes and colors!

And the cookies? I'm totally not sharing! ;)

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