What's more fun that a birthday party? I'll tell you...a birthday party for your 75 year old mom! Thursday, the first day of Spring, my sweet mom turns 75 - that seems so fitting as she still has quite a bit of Spring in her! I'm pulling out all the stops...well, not all - but close! I tried to come up with the perfect gift...for the person who has everything...and I thought giving her an old-fashioned birthday party would be the perfect thing...so we're having a private lunch at her favorite restaurant with 14 of her friends...and they are all so excited to come! We have a Queen For A Day theme going...I can't tell you much more than that - just in case she tunes in - but I will give you a peak at the favors - crown shaped sugar cookies - and they are soft-sweet-melt-in-your-mouth good! I just hope they survive the trip on Southworst...I mean Southwest!
About 10 years ago I did a search for the best sugar cookie recipe....I tried dozens of recipes - baking every day for about a month...my kids were sick of cookies by the end of my research...but it was worth every crumb because I found the best recipe out there - try it, and if these are not the best sugar cookies you've ever tasted then send them to me and I'll eat them all for you.
Sugar Cookies Fit For A Queen - Pots and Pins (Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe follows)
1 1/3 cups butter (do not substitute)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 teaspoons milk
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thoroughly cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in milk and beat until thoroughly combined. Sift together dry ingredients; blend into creamed mixture, just beating until mixed, be careful not to over beat. Put dough in refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters, dipping cutters into flour to prevent sticking. Take any remaining dough, brush off as much flour as you can and reroll until all of the dough is used. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Ovens vary, you want the cookies to be just slightly browned on the bottom but not on the tops. Do not over bake or cookies will be harder than they should be - still good but hard! Cool slightly then remove to racks to cool completely. Makes 30 large cookies (approximately 5-inches by 3-inches.)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting - Pots and Pins
3 sticks butter, softened (do not substitute)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups powdered sugar, plus more if needed to get to the consistency you want
Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, on high speed, until it becomes light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla, milk and salt and beat well. Add one cup of powdered sugar, mixing on low until incorporated. Add remaining cups of powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low until combined, and scraping down sides. Check consistency, if frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar. Then mix on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
*My cookies, if you follow the recipe, will bake up to be 1/2-inch thick and I like to put on a thick layer of frosting, about 1/4-inch thick...really, it's the right thing to do.