12 Days of Cookies – The Great Sugar Cookie Debate

Sugar cookies are the classic holiday cookie. Everyone seems to have a great sugar cookie recipe. I personally only have the patience for sugar cookies at the holidays. Even though I have about 40 cookie cutters, they barely ever get used. Occasionally I’ll use them for things other than cookies (like cake or bars).

I think it’s because I don’t have a great sugar cookie recipe. Don’t get me wrong I love the recipe that came from my Aunt. The problem is that it poofs so sometimes the cookies lose their shape. They don’t have crisp edges like some sugar cookies. So I decided to test three sugar cookie recipes to come up with a favorite.

The first recipe will be my Aunt’s recipe that I grew up eating. I’ll use it as a baseline to compare the other recipes to. Second, I’ll be trying a Dorie Greenspan recipe. Funny thing is that both Cookie Carnival AND Tuesdays with Dorie are doing Dorie’s sugar cookies this month! The last recipe comes from Ashlee’s blog (and Katie uses this recipe too). Her cookies always look perfect.

I decided that we needed to come up with a way to use up all of these cookies. Our friends offered to host a cookie decorating party. I brought the naked cookies and all my decorating supplies and they provided snacks and beverages.

These are pictures of some of the cookies we brought home with us. It was a lot of fun to decorate cookies with a group of friends.

One cookie cutter that I have never really liked is the Santa cookie cutter. My mom had one growing up and the only way it looks like a Santa is if you decorate it properly. I don’t think I’ll use the cookie cutter anymore. We did have fun trying to decorate the shape into things other than Santa. Hubby made a convincing bird and another friend made a cute penguin mother and baby. Here’s a pic of my Santa and hubby’s bird.

I was trying to be organized while I was baking, so I went ahead and measured everything out at the beginning including labeling each measured ingredient with post it notes. It turned out to be very useful when I started mixing the dough.

So now on to the verdict. Is it possible that one of these new recipes is going to replace my go to sugar cookie recipe? The recipe I grew up loving turned out soft and a little puffy as expected. It’s also somewhat difficult to work with because you have to work quite a bit of flour into the dough prior to rolling it out. Dorie’s recipe held it’s shape well and the batch was small, which was refreshing. It was also very easy to roll out and work with. Ashlee’s recipe had a nice hint of lemon. I enjoyed the lemon when they weren’t frosted but I thought it was a big overpowering when they were frosted. These also help their shape quite well and again were easy to work with. So I would definitely make any of these recipes again. I guess it would depend what I was looking for.

For super soft roll out cookies – I’d make my aunt’s recipe.
For cookies that hold their shape really well – I’d make Ashlee’s recipe.
For a simpler sugar cookie that yields a smaller batch – I’d make Dorie’s recipe.

And now on to the recipes.

Sugar Cookies – from my Aunt Deanne – I got 5.5 dozen cookies
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 cup lard
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
sour milk (1 cup milk mixed with 1 tsp. vinegar and 1 tsp. baking soda.)

In a large bowl, mix sugar with eggs. Add lard, baking powder,
vanilla, milk, and flour. Mix each ingredient one at a time to the
other. Roll out and use cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
Watch closely, top does not brown only bottom.

Sugar Cookies – from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my Home to Yours – to see the entire recipe, check out the TWD member who chose it, Ulrike of Küchenlatein – I got 2.5 dozen cookies

As you can see the Dorie recipe made a very small amount of dough. This is nice though because sometimes making sugar cookies is overwhelming. Also, I didn’t rechill my dough between rolling it out. I just rerolled and went with it.

Sugar Cookies – from Katie, originally from Ashlee – I got 5.5 dozen cookies
1 1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest
5 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Powdered sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly. Add vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.

Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time. Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.

Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes. Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.

Frosting
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 cup Crisco
6 cups powdered sugar
Water or Milk to reach desired consistency
Food coloring

Beat butter and Crisco until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar slowly. Add water/milk (I used whipping cream) until desired consistency is reached.

My 12 Days of Cookies:Day 1: Lumberjacks
Day 2: Peppermint Sandies

I’m submitting this to Food Bloggas Eat Christmas Cookies blogging event. Check this link to participate in the event. Or check here to see the roundup (gets updated as entries come in).

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22 Responses to “Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake Truffles”

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    1
    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — January 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I can’t barely bake so the idea of finding a creative way to use leftovers astounds me. This looks AWESOME!

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    2
    Maria — January 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Gorgeous truffles!

  3. #
    3
    Justin — January 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I love red velvet… these look amazing.

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    4
    Megan — January 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I’ll have to remember this… I often have leftover cake too. They looks so pretty!

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    5
    EliFla — January 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    This is a very good recipe…thanks and happy new year, ciao Flavia

  6. #
    6
    Sue — January 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    These are so pretty! Great for valentine’s day:)

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    Blog is the New Black — January 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    These look so wonderful! Love the vibrant red!

  8. #
    8
    ann — January 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    These look so good. Wonderful idea.

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    Tara — January 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Okay this is just hilarious! My grandma purchased a frozen Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake for Christmas. I took the remaining pieces home to make into balls, which we served at my new years eve party. SO good!

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    Rhondi — January 4, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Amazing as usual! I tagged you on my blog to answer some questions:
    http://bigmamashomekitchen.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-weekday-morning-routineand-ive-been.html

    Have a great day! Rhondi

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    11
    Daisy — January 5, 2011 at 2:47 am

    you are a genius! Such a great idea to use leftover and maintain portion control.

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    KcomeKarolina — January 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    oh they look so yummi!!!

    xoxo from rome
    K.
    http://kcomekarolina.blogspot.com/

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    13
    Chelsea — January 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Such a good idea, these look so good! I love the red velvet and cheesecake combo. You’re blog is awesome 🙂

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    We Are Not Martha — January 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Wow, these are so beautiful! Best way to use leftovers EVER! And who knew you could do so much with red velvet!

    Sues

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    Caroline — January 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    It’s not over-indulging because you’re able to stop at one. I would probably have eaten half a dozen of them, they look so good! What a great way to jazz up ‘leftovers’!

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    Boston Food Diary — January 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    What a FANTASTIC idea!!!! These look beyond amazing!!

  17. #
    17
    Elina (Healthy and Sane) — January 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I remember the post about that cake. I really want to make it some day! The idea of turning some leftovers into truffles is pure genius! 😀

  18. #
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    Shannon — January 8, 2011 at 1:54 am

    ooh, what a creative way to deal with the cake 🙂

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    Bridget — January 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I’m picky about what I bring in to work too. It bugs me when people bring in things that are clearly gnawed on, you know? This is the perfect way to reportion leftover cake into easily sharable treats.

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    Carolyn Jung — January 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Wives always know best! LOL
    Glad you made him “eat” his words, so to speak. The truffles are so adorable and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

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    sheila @ Elements — January 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    They’re adorable!!! They’d make a perfect Valentine treat too!!

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    P way — October 15, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    So…. Don’t mean to appear ignorant, but some of us have NOT made cake balls from left over cake, please be more specific in your discourse, please.

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