December 5, 2008

Sugar Cookie Fun

For the past few months I've been volunteering as an assistant coach for a non-profit organization called Girls on the Run (GOTR). GOTR essentially partners with local schools and sets up after school running programs for young girls. They are taught about having a healthy body image, working as a team, being a good sport, etc., all while training to run a 1.5 mile or 5K race at the end of the season. The girls I work with are between 3rd and 5th grade, so it's amazing to see girls training for such an amazing feat. I can't even fathom running 3 miles when I was that young!

The girls' big race is this coming Sunday, so all the coaches are putting together a bit of a party for them. I decided to bake sugar cookies and decorate them with all their names and some other cutsey designs. This is one of my first forays into baking cookies from scratch, and the first round did not go over so well. Making the dough was super easy, but after it chilled rolling it out was a nightmare. The dough kept cracking and wouldn't roll, and then when it heated up just enough to get rolled out, it would be to gooey to actually cut out cute shapes with the cookie cutters.

For the second round I decided to go the slice and bake way and roll them in some pink and white sugar. This was SO much easier, and they turned out just perfect. I think I might do these in red and green sugar (or blue and white) for the holidays. And who doesn't love decorating sugar cookies! We use to do it as kids and I guess I haven't outgrown it.

I'm off to our final practice today and to hand out the cute cookies. Hopefully the girls will like them!

Slice-and-Bake Sparkling Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Blueprint Magazine (which is no longer in print...)

1 cup Unsalted Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 large Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 cups AP Flour

For Dough:
  • In an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
  • Add egg and mix until combined.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Add flour slowly, and only mix until incorporated.
  • Divide dough in half and place on waxed or parchment paper.
  • Using the paper, roll dough into a 2-inch wide log.
  • Unwrap from paper and roll in desired sugar color (you could also do nuts).
  • Wrap back in paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).
To Bake:
  • Pre-heat oven to 350℉.
  • Slice dough into 1/4 inch disks and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 7-12 minutes, or just until edges begin to brown.
  • Let cookies cool on the sheet.
  • Decorate! (cookies will keep for about a week in an airtight container).


Emily said...

The cookies look great. I think the slice and bake is the way to go. I hate rolling out sugar cookies! Such a pain.

I couldn't run that much when I was that age. That's amazing! That's cool that you help out with them.

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Emily - Thanks! It was way easier to do the slice and bake, and I think they turned out just as cute. The girls are amazing, a lot of them left their adult buddies in the dust!

Joy the Baker said...

What super adorable cookies! And what an amazing organization to volunteer for! Bravo on both the cookies and giving your time and love!

Maria said...

Good for you! That sounds so fun! I am glad you are helping out young girls, so important! The cookies are super cute too!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Joy - Thanks so much!

Hi Maria - This is my first time working with young girls and I'm getting so much out of it. They are so creative and smart at such a young age - I now know why so many people enjoy being teachers.