One of the things I love most about the holidays is the memories that flood my mind from my childhood. My mother and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen making sugar cookies. I think my mom chose them because kids like sugar, and the recipe is super easy for a kid to follow. We would spend hours in the kitchen baking, singing, decorating and packaging the cookies for friends and family.
As I started preparing for this year's Christmas holiday, I decided to pull from my childhood memories and recreate them as an adult. As part of my gift giving this year, I will be including dressed up sugar cookies – or at least that’s what I’m calling them.
The sugar cookie recipe I have used since I was a child comes from Domino’s sugar.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup Domino® Confectioners’ Sugar
- 1/2 cup Domino® Granulated Sugar plus additional for sprinkling
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare baking sheet.
2. Stir together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in mixing bowl; set aside.
3. Beat butter, oil and sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until well mixed.
4. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
Being the baker that I am, I made a few modifications to this recipe. While the recipe calls for vegetable oil, I only use 1/4 cup and add an additional stick and a half of butter. The reason being is that I love the taste of butter and want that to be the highlight in the cookie. I could have added butter extract to flavor the cookie dough, but I find that butter extract has an artificial taste.
The second modification I made was omitting the additional sugar for sprinkling because the cookie toppings will add the additional sweetness to the cookie.
For my final modification, I prefer a rolled cookie verses a drop cookie, so I wrap my cookie dough in plastic wrap and create a log and freeze for about 10 minutes or just until the dough is firm. Making a log keeps the cookies uniform, and I can control the thickness of the cookie better than you can using the drop method.
The decorating is my favorite part of the cookie making process. I think it's because this is where my mom and I would be able to sit down and have conversation as we decorated and ate the (warm) cookies that didn’t come out so great.
I remember the table covered with all sorts of sprinkles, chocolate sauce, colored sugar and frosting; it was a mess! While I loved it as a kid, I now know cleaning up the mess myself won’t be fun at all, so I made myself a decorating station where the mess could be contained but the creativity could flow.
Cookie Dressing Tray
- White and Milk melted chocolate for coating the cookie
- Cookie Icing
- Mini chocolate chips
- Sprinkles: Assorted color, blue, green and gold
- Maple cinnamon sugar
The cookies are all dressed up and ready to be gifted and enjoyed.
Other variations of toppings that you may want to try at home with your family are:
- Your favorite cereal, crushed
- Finely chopped dried fruit (cranberries, apricots)
- Finely chopped nuts (peanuts, walnuts, toasted hazelnuts)
If you think this may be an activity you want to try but need a little more guidance, sign up for our last Holiday Treats Exchange at the Merchandise Mart this Sunday, December 22 at 1pm. We have just four spots left! If you can’t make it then, download our holiday cookie guide with 12 of our favorite recipes.