First I want to share a pic of my girl in China. The University has set up a blog for the families to follow along with what the kids are doing on a day by day basis. That's her, right under the giant white arrow!
Today they are performing a concert ON the Great Wall, actually by now it has already happened but how cool is that!
We had the most wonderful bakery in my hometown and they made the most amazing cut out cookies during the Holidays. Besides the taste, the thing that made their cookies so special and unique, is they were always decorated with pastel colored sugar. Pink, yellow, pale green, not your typical Christmas colors but these were the colors that always adorned these cookies. And so, when my family made cut out cookies at home, we decorated them the same way as I do today. I have not been successful at recreating the exact taste, but this recipe is very good and I've used it for years.
Cut out Cookies
1 pound butter Softened (no substitutes)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Separate 3 of the eggs and add the yolks to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the remaining whole egg and the vanilla and beat until well mixed. Gradually stir in the flour and mix until well blended. Shape dough into two disks and wrap in wax paper, chill over night or at least 3 hours. The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature. Remove one of disks from the wax paper and cut
in half, knead the dough in hands until it becomes soft like playdough (you may need to add some flour to your hands). Roll out on well floured surface and cut
with cookie cutters. Place on Cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes or until oven is preheated. Bake for 8 mins. @ 350 degrees. The cookies will be very fragile, resist the temptation to remove them from the cookie sheets too soon! Allow to
cool on sheet for at least 10 mins. Transfer to a cooling rack and continue to cool. Decorate with buttercream icing and colored sugars. I prefer to color my own sugar because I like the way it settles into the cookie!
1/2 Cup White Shortening
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
Cream Butter & Shortening with mixer; add vanilla. Gradually add sugar one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides & bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been added, icing will appear dry. Add milk a little at a time and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Yield 3 cups.
It's easy to color your own sugar, once you do, you will never go back to store bought! Just put a small amount of white sugar in a bowl, about 1/4 of a cup, add a drop or two of liquid food coloring (I've never tried the paste type so I do not know if it works as well), using the flat bottom side of a fork, mash the food coloring into the sugar, keep mashing and stirring until all the food coloring is evenly distributed and the color is even. Add more food coloring if you want more intense color. That's all there is to it!
And now a photo memory from Christmas past. This is probably my most favorite picture of my girls, Christmas of 1992 Santa brought both of them PINK Cowgirl outfits!
I'm linking this post to How Sweet the Sound for PINK Saturday. Please stop by and say HI to Beverly, our host for PINK Saturday.