This year, the day before Halloween I had my good friend C- over. I found myself freaking out before she came because I generally only have two friends over. And they’re the kinds of friends that reach in your fridge, walk in the door, and don’t give a second glance to the messes I don’t clean up.
I swear, all of a sudden I’d grown a new pair of eyes that allowed me to see all the messes I hadn’t seen before. And it wasn’t looking too hot. By the time C- got here, I was ready to pass out from my spontaneous clean up session.
Usually when I bake, I bake solo. Crowed kitchens with more than just me are a constant source of stress. I should probably work on the teamwork aspect of my life. Truly, I can be a team player anywhere else. But step into my kitchen and I might whoop you with a spatula.
My friend knocked, and reluctantly, I pushed the broom back into the cleaning closet with my foot and opened the door. My feet weren’t the only things moving fast while I was cleaning, so was my mind. What should we do when she came over? All I could come up with was a movie and maybe making something. That was a big maybe. After all, my friend probably would rather watch a movie.
Nope, it turned out she wanted to make something. I felt slightly inclined to deny her so that she wouldn’t have to see my inner chef-self. But that’s when she said it. Something that would forever hurt my heart. She had never ever had homemade frosting before. Yes, I said ever. And this is not an anti-social kid. One I’d attended multiple birthday parties with. And no homemade frosting. After that, there was no doubt in my mind. There was homemade frosting to be made, sugar cookie dough to be mixed and rolled out, and why not expand her knowledge and make royal icing too?
For three and a half hours we were more than occupied. I don’t know what it is about sugar cookies. This wasn’t my favorite recipe but it just might have been the recipe to long conversations that kept me thinking well into the night after she went home.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl until fluffy.
Beat in vanilla and eggs one by one
Sift together dry ingredients
Gradually mix sifted ingredients into butter mixture
Flatten dough into disk, cover with parchment paper and chill 30 or more minutes
Take out, roll until desired thickness, and use a cookie cutter to cut desired shape
Put back into fridge for 15 more minutes, this prevents spreading
Bake for 12 minutes, do NOT bake until brown.
Sugar Cookie Frosting*
4 cups powdered sugar
½ cup shortening
5 tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Cream the powdered sugar and shortening until smooth
Beat in milk and vanilla until stiff, about 5 minutes
Separate to color with different food colorings
*Personally, I think shortening makes things taste store-bought and coats your mouth with a bad taste.