Friday, December 16, 2011

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream + An Annoucement.

I'm not pregnant.

Or engaged.

Or writing a cookbook.

... I'm moving!
I knew that California-shaped shortbread would come in handy. 

You know how my boyfriend & I have been in a long-distance relationship since I graduated from college (over two years ago)? Well... we're officially not anymore.

On Monday I found out that the job I applied for last September... the job I: took a written test for, interviewed, took a medical test, took a physical test, took a psych test, and did a background check for...


No big deal.
But today (four days later) I'm moving. Can you feel the stress buzzing around me? I think I emotionally ate my way through an entire batch of peanut butter cup treats in the last 96 hours. Right now I'm probably on the freeway, blasting Adele and the entire Michael Buble Christmas CD, with a suitcase stuffed full of super important things, like a miniature Christmas tree, lip gloss, and muffin pans.

So for the next few weeks, my life is going to look like this:


Home for Christmas.


Apartment-hunting. <-- Excited.

Moving in with my boyfriend.

Convincing my boyfriend I need this. And this. And probably this.



Maybe sleeping.

... basically being an adult.

So if there's a sudden lack of sugar... or perhaps a surge in How Do You Live With A Man? posts... you'll know.

In the meantime, sugar cookies!
Crisp, buttery sugar cookies covered in vanilla frosting and sprinkles. Festive!

And some not-so-festive-but-still-super-cute cookies:
Fact: I will make an elephant out of anything if it's possible. Remember the pancakes?

Get on this!
Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk

Beat powdered sugar and butter until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. 

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Slowly add to butter mixture and mix well, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed, until thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease baking sheets and set aside.   

Divide dough in half and roll on a lightly-floured counter until 1/8 inch thick (You can roll it thicker if you want. We just found this was the best thickness for making the cookies hold their shape when baking. Plus they come out crispy). 

Cut with cookie cutters and place on baking sheet about two inches apart. Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until beginning to turn lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat the butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt and mix. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down side of the bowl as needed. Add 2 tablespoons of milk; beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add additional milk until frosting is the spreading consistency you desire.
When cookies are completely cool, frost and decorate with sprinkles. Enjoy!

Source: Cookie recipe barely adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, 1963. Frosting recipe from Pillsbury Fall Baking, #93.