For me, the decorating of sugar cookies marks all the big Hallmark holidays: Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas. They’re the simplest vanilla cookies, with a slight lemony meringue icing, loaded with a ridiculous amount of candy and sprinkles.
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On Valentine’s Day, there’s everything heart-shaped, adorned with anything that comes in pink, red, and white. At Christmas, gingerbread men, stars, wreaths and Christmas trees cover the table. For Halloween, the classic ghost, tombstone, and pumpkin silhouettes are baked and decorated with enough candy to put anyone at risk for diabetes.
Ever since I moved out of my parent’s house, I can’t seem to get through these holidays without making my mom’s classic recipe. Although I’m not a fan of these occasions, I’m definitely a fan of decorating cookies. Now that it’s over, I can admit that Halloween is one of my least favourite days. I’m terrified of scary movies, despise masks, and don’t understand the ridiculous costumes people wear to parties.
I can however, get behind the chocolate-eating, and cookie-decorating side of things. As I didn’t have many Halloween themed cookies cutters, this year’s cookies were just a collection of ghosts and dinosaurs – a fitting combination to be honest.
Classic Sugar Cookies
Makes about 40 cookies.
– 1/3 cup shortening
– 1/3 cup margarine or butter
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– ¾ cup sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tbsp milk
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp vanilla
1. In a large bowl, beat margarine and shortening together with an electric mixer on medium-high for about 30 seconds, or until softened.
2. Add about half of the flour. Then add sugar, egg, milk, baking powder, vanilla, and a dash of salt. Beat until combined.
3. Stir in the remaining flour. Divide the dough in half, cover and chill for up to three hours.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the desired shapes and place onto a baking sheet.
5. Bake at 375, for seven to eight minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the pan for one minute, then transfer onto a cooling rack. The cookies will harden once cooled so they can stick to the pan if you don’t remove them when they’re still warm.
FOR THE ICING:
– 2 eggs
– 2 cups icing sugar
– ½ tsp lemon extract (or any extract)
1. Beat eggs with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks.
2. Slowly add in the icing sugar and lemon extract. Continue to add icing sugar to get desired consistency.
3. Frost your cookies.