Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Martha Stewart's Sugar Cookies

I was given the task of buying sugar cookies for my son's first grade class. Buy? Would Martha have bought cookies for her daughter's class? No. So I opted to bake my own and used Martha's recipe, of course. The kids will use these sugar cookies for their Valentine's Day party... where they will pile on mounds of store-bought canned frosting and toss on as many sprinkles and candies as the cookie will hold. I took the liberty of decorating a few myself- using Royal Icing instead.

These wonderful, homemade Sugar Cookies come from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. I discovered this amazing treasury of baking only recently when I saw it on a clearance table because it was slightly water-damaged. I snatched it up, and I'm glad I did. There is a great collection of baked delights with brilliant food photography.

If you don't own one of those little cake-decorating kits with the bags and the assortment of tips, I suggest that you buy one. A good little Wilton kit is only about $10 to $15, and you'd be amazed to find that it comes in handy once in a while. If you don't have a kit, you can make Royal Icing and spoon it into a plastic sandwich baggie- cut off the corner of the bag and you have a homemade piping bag. Then you can pipe the edge of the cookie- let it dry a bit- before you flood the middle with the remaining icing and spread it to cover the cookie. Fill other bags with different colors and add additional decor. Or dip a toothpick directly into the food coloring bottle and use the toothpick to swirl the designs that you desire.

Martha Stewart's Royal Icing is the recipe that I used. It's one of those hard icing recipes that many people are looking for when they make decorator cookies. This icing dries quickly and it dries hard- the cookies easily stack without ruining the decorations.

Now I'm sure there are plenty of Mom's out there that will pick up those store bought sugar cookies for their child's class and that's perfectly fine, and I'm sure that the kids will be perfectly happy and yadda, yadda, yadda... but these buttery cookies with a hint of vanilla just taste sooooooo much better!

Happy Valentine's Day !

The cookie recipe can be found HERE.
The icing recipe can be found HERE.


VeggieGirl said...

Maybe I'm just a snobby-baker, but I find it appalling that people contribute store-bought cookies/goodies to bake sales - kudos to you for "keeping it real" and baking these fabulous, Valentine's Day-appropriate sugar cookies!! Martha saves the day, once again :0D

VeggieGirl said...

p.s. I meant to write "bake sales and other events" :0)

Aimée said...

Beautiful cookies, Martha-I mean recipegirl!:) They look perfect for Valentine's.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I'm with you - store bought cookies?? Yours look beautiful. I love the red zig-zag design on the big cookie.

Ali said...

Recipe Girl, you are making me very hungry for some sweets. My husband and I just moved out here from the East Coast and I still don't have any of my baking equipment. I'm drooling!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Those cookies look great and I could go for some myself right about now.

Ana said...

Nice cookies!
I wish my son's school would let us bring homemade baked goods to the kids... I hate, hate, that they only allow store bought cookies (for any event, including birthdays, not even cupcakes we can bring...) when we have to bring to the kids, but for "teacher/staff appreciation day" the actually request that we bring homemade stuff as "the teachers prefer that"....
Of course they do, but the kids deserve something good too, right?!
Way to go, I am with you, baking goodies for the kids! (even if they put lots of junk on top, you did your part, and very nicely done!)

RecipeGirl said...

VeggieGirl- I must be a snobby baker too :)

Aimee (Martha)- Thanks :)

Lynn- Thank you!

Ali- Sounds like you need to go shopping!

Mike- Unfortunately, they're all gone now!

Ana- I completely forgot that some schools don't allow it. When I was teaching, fortunately I never ran into that problem, and my son's school doesn't set those parameters either. My sister is a teacher in Washington though and she's not allowed to bring in homemade stuff... though I think she sneaks things in for her class when she can!

How awful that you -of all people- can't bring cookies into your child's class!!

The Burning Kitchen said...

These are wonderful!! I love the way you decorated them.


Janice said...

Thanks for the recipes and the review! My husband wishes for these cookies every Christmas and I decided to surprise him with a batch for Valentine's Day. I am excited to see how they turn out!