Sorry this post is delayed in arriving to you. We were having some technical difficulties (funny enough, they weren’t related to the storm mentioned herein.)
So, last week it was known as Frankenstorm. Now it is being called “Super Storm Sandy.” Either way, Mommy and I had to make cookies for my Halloween party at school, so we took advantage of being stuck at home and baked. We were very lucky here in Baltimore. The storm was not as bad as it could have been. Mommy lived in Baltimore when Hurricane Isabel came right up the Chesapeake Bay in 2003. She says Sandy didn’t impact us as much as Isabel did. We are counting our blessings and are very sad about NYC and the Jersey Shore though. Those are both places we visit at least once every year. We go to NYC the weekend before Christmas every year to celebrate with my Uncle David and Aunt Lindsey who come down from New Hampshire. And we spend a week at the Jersey Shore every summer. We have lots of friends and family that are still without power and some who are homebound because of the damage caused by the super storm. Hopefully the thought of these cookies will bring a small smile to your face, no matter the damage in your area.
Mommy had a great plan. In preschool we are learning to recognize our written names, so she was going to make big cookies, one for each of my classmates, with each student’s name on it. Best laid plans, as she often says… One of my classmates has a wheat allergy. That means baked items need to be gluten-free. Unfortunately, sugar cookies need gluten to be rolled out, so she was concerned her idea wasn’t going to work after all. But she did a little research and learned there are some companies that make gluten-free sugar cookie mix. This would save needing to buy a variety of different flours and xantham gum. It didn’t solve the problem of rolling them out though. Mommy decided to buy a mix anyway and give it a try. She was going to make regular sugar cookies too and just be sure to keep the two recipes completely separate.
While mixing up the gluten-free dough, Mommy came up with an idea that she wanted to be sure I shared with you because it is a way of getting cut out cookies from gluten-free dough. She spread the dough in one, thin layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (we used tin foil, but parchment would probably be better.) After baking as directed (they took a little longer than the package said because it was one big cookie) she let them cool slightly before using the cookie cutters to cut the already baked cookies. Then she pulled away the excess cookie and was left with the shapes she wanted. Just beware: gluten-free cookies are more likely to break because the texture is more crumbly than regular sugar cookies.
The regular cookies were easy after the glutton free ones. Here’s our recipe:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp powder
1/2 tsp salt
Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add the slowly (otherwise flour will go flying everywhere!)
Scrape together all the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and create a disc.
Refrigerate the dough for at leat two hours. And wait…
Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using about 1/6 of the dough, roll it out on a well-floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick
Using the cookie cutters of your choice, cut cookies and place on a cookie sheet (ours were lined with silpat, but parchment paper would work well too.)
Bake 6-8 minutes until they just begin to turn golden around the edges. Watch them carefully at the end because they will go from golden to burnt very quickly.
Move cookies to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely and then decorate however you like. I had lots of fun decorating mine.