September 24, 2005

Almost Time For Snow & Sugar Cookies!

It has been a cold and rainy weekend up in Montana. In the air you can smell that winter is coming, for it's a well known fact that Montana only has two seasons: Winter and July.

The changing of the season has me craving hot chocolate and pumpkin pie. Fresh baked cookies and hearty soups. And not to be forgotten, preparations for the holidays.

Shown in the picture are basic sugar cookies (recipe follows) with sprinkles from FancyFlours. Homemade chocolates filled with mint and raspberry filling are nestled on the bottom plate. I can't wait for winter!
Pretty, scary snow
Hmm...on second thought.

Sugar Cookies
Makes about 16 large cookies or thirty 2 1/2-inch cookies

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extractor 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup fine sanding sugar, for decorating (optional)

1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
2. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.
3. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla or lemon juice and zest. Wrap dough in plastic; chill for about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 325°. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, and decorate with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake until edges just start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks. May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. (Martha