Thursday, February 21, 2013

Holiday Cutouts

A week ago today we baked some cookies, the first time in a long time.  In honor of Valentine's day and my baby girl's 1st birthday, we made cutout heart cookies.  So yummy and way better than anything store bought (and better for you too - no preservatives and additives).  My little boy LOVES to cook, especially measuring the ingredients, so baking is a perfect activity for him. This recipe is amazing! Then again, so is Boston's Flour Bakery, where this recipe came from. Their cookbook is full of awesome, decadent treats and I've loved everything we've made from there so far.   These cookies were great at Christmas, and even better than I remember this time around.  Plus a birthday cookie is better than cake for a teething baby. :)  You can find the cookie and frosting recipe below.  It really is the perfect cookie for any holiday occasion.  Enjoy!

Happy Baking!
Holiday Cutouts
recipe from the cookbook Flour by the famous Flour Bakery in Boston.  You can find more info on the cookbook here:
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or handheld mixer), cream together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.  (May take 10 minutes with a handheld mixer).  Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined.  Scrape the bowl and the paddle again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated. 

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well mixed.  On low speed, slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture.  Mix just until flour is totally incorporated.  Don't over mix or the dough will become tough. 
Scrape the dough and wrap with a sheet of plastic wrap, pressing down to form an 8 inch disk (about 1 inch thick).  Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour or for up to 5 days. 

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet or 2.  (I use Pam cooking spray.)  Lightly flour a work surface, place the dough on the surface and flour the dough.  Roll out about 1/4 inch thick.  Be sure to keep the rolling pin, work surface, and dough floured to prevent sticking.  Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many of the cookies as possible.  Gather up the scrapes, reroll, and cut out more cookies.  Do this as many times as you can.  (I actually only rolled out half the dough at a time because my work surface was small).  Bake for 11-17 minutes (depending on how large your cookie cutter is).  The cookies will be pale to light brown in the center and golden brown along the sides and bottom.  Let cook on a wire rack or wax paper for 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle.  Proceed to frosting and decorating.

cutting out hearts and a lip shape from a set my mother gave me for Valentine's Day
Be sure your cookie sheet is greased, I used Pam baking spray
Cookies after they come out of the oven.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
found at
I used only 1/2 of a recipe for these cookies.  So yummy!!! Enjoy!

So yummy!!!  A great treat for a special occasion.

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