A variety of festive sugar cookies #NationalSugarCookieDay #ChristmasinJuly


Today is National Sugar Cookie Day so I thought it would be a great day to share a few festive sugar cookie recipes I found online. Since I don’t turn on the oven in the summer, I won’t make these until November/December, but if you make any of them, let me know.

First, a little history on the day:

Observed each year on July 9, National Sugar Cookie Day honors the ever popular and delicious sugar cookie.

A holiday favorite and very easy to make, sugar cookies are sure to disappear quickly once they come out of the oven. Made with sugar, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla and either baking powder or baking soda, most people have the ingredients on hand at all times and can have the kids help make a batch on any day. The fun just begins with cutting the dough with fun shaped cookie cutters and then getting creative by decorating with icing and sprinkles.

The sugar cookie is believed to have originated in the mid 1700′s in Nazareth Pennsylvania. It was there that the German Protestant settlers created the round, crumbly and buttery cookie that came to be known as the Nazareth Cookie~from National Day Calendar


Minty Chocolate-Dipped Candy Canes


INGREDIENTS

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 oz. semisweet chocolate or white chocolate
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
Red and white nonpareils


DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and then the vanilla.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Shape the dough into 4 disks and roll each between 2 sheets of wax paper to 1/8 inch thick. Chill until firm, 30 minutes in the refrigerator or 15 minutes in the freezer.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using floured candy cane–shaped cookie cutters, cut out cookies. Place on the prepared sheets. Reroll, chill, and cut the scraps.
  5. Bake, rotating the positions of the pans halfway through, until the cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Melt chocolate according to package directions, then stir in the peppermint extract. Dip half of each cookie in the chocolate, letting any excess drip off. Place on a cooling rack set over parchment paper and sprinkle with nonpareils, if desired.

Recipe and image from womansday.com


Cookie Pretzels

INGREDIENTS


DOUGH
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp. Lemon Extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

DECORATION
1 egg mixed with 2 tsp lemon juice or water
Coarse white and red decorating sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. In large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar and salt until creamy. Beat in egg, yolk and extracts until smooth. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour until blended. Chill dough in refrigerator 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment or nonstick reusable liners. Shape level Tbsps dough into balls. On a smooth surface with floured fingers, roll each ball, 1 at a time, into a 12-in. rope; lift rope to a prepared baking sheet and shape into a pretzel. Make more pretzels, spacing them 2 in. apart on baking sheet. Lightly brush with egg mixture; sprinkle with sugar.
  3. Bake one sheet at a time, 14 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden brown at the edges. Let cool on sheet on wire rack 2 minutes; remove to rack to cool completely. Bake remaining cookies.
Recipe and image from womansday.com

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla

Frosting
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 to 4 tablespoons milk SAVE $
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Betty Crocker™ gel food colors, as desired
Betty Crocker™ candy sprinkles, as desired

Steps
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, cream cheese and 1/2 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until fluffy; scrape side of bowl. Beat in egg just until smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. On low speed, beat flour mixture into sugar mixture until well blended. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  3. Shape dough into 60 (1-inch) balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat powdered sugar, 1/4 cup softened butter, 2 to 4 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with spoon until smooth and fluffy. If frosting is too stiff to spread, add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Tint with food color. Using knife, spread slightly less than 1 teaspoon frosting on each cooled cookie; top with sprinkles. Store covered in airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe and image from bettycrocker.com

My cookie storage tip, especially good for those with frosting. A lot of people say layered in wax paper in an air tight container. I use parchment paper (which I also use when I bake cookies). It doesn’t stick to the cookies like wax paper or plastic wrap.


Always in spirit…

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