Favorite Sugar Cookie Icing and Cut Out Cookie Recipe
Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner and I’m making lamb cookies?!? Yes, there is a method to my madness… Today I offer you my absolute favorite Sugar Cookie Icing and Cut Out Cookie Recipe for your holiday baking endeavors, and a story I’d like to call “On the Lam(b).”
A dear friend is expecting her first baby. Over the last few months a circle of girls arranged an elegant shower for her. We went with a lamb theme to coordinate with her crib bedding and proceeded to make lamb everything! It goes without saying that I would make lamb cookies.
A member of the “shower committee” had an eccentric, yet inspired, idea. What if we had a live lamb in a crisp white pin at the entrance of the shower; wouldn’t that give the shower that extra spark? We were, after all, going for an unforgettable experience…
Well, we hit “unforgettable” on the mark!
The day of the shower, the tables were set, the clean white tent was up, the decorations were hung, food was prepared, but our lamb had not yet arrived. The guests were pulling up and still we had no lamb.
Then finally, a pick-up truck arrived towing a fluffy white lamb. As our “wow-factor” was being unloaded a crowd started to form around the truck. The sweet little lamb gently gazed at the on-lookers, meekly waiting to be carried to his pin. We opened the crate to lift him out of the truck…
Suddenly, that lamb turned into a white blur and flew out of that truck at high speeds!
The lamb was on the run. Children were in hot pursuit. Ladies in heels were sprinting into the pasture to corral the lamb …but lambs are fast. Really. Fast.
Through the course of the afternoon, several people almost caught that lamb. Yet the lamb always wriggled free and was off in a white flash. At the end of the shower we called for backup. Husbands came and took the table clothes off the tables to use as a shield to coral the lamb… with no luck.
Finally, hours later, we had to call the owner to bring a herding dog to catch the lamb.
Moral: Never invite livestock to a baby shower.
That being said, it was a beautiful, and most definitely memorable, experience.
My Cut Out Cookie Recipe and Favorite Sugar Cookie Icing were a big hit. And just look at the rolling landscape and the decorations.
After helping a crafty friend make paper fan mobiles, we decided to call for backup on the rest of the decorations. We asked Heather Preckel from Blissfully Sweet Designs to make us these precious and ever so intricate party banners. Heather is a master scrapbooker and Etsy store owner who makes the most beautiful party decorations you’ve ever seen. Not only that, she’s famous in her field. Heather’s designs have been published numerous times and she is a regular speaker at craft conferences. Thank you Heather, you are a genius! (Make sure to take a look at her store.)
For the cookies, I used my most beloved cut out cookie recipe and sugar cookie icing, because it’s a sad truth that most “pretty” cookies don’t taste good. …and I hate that! This recipe makes a delicate tender cookie with a mild spice flavor that can still hold up to being rolled and cut. The icing is silky and dries with a satin sheen. It can be flavored and colored to use for any occasion, like your Halloween Party and Christmas Cookie Exchange!
Two words, COLD DOUGH. In order to produce cut out cookie with the perfect shape and texture EVERY TIME, the dough MUST be cold. Wrap your dough into several small disks, so you can take one out of the fridge at a time for rolling.
To make the bumpy “woolen” texture on the top of the lamb cookies, I cut the cookie, then sprinkled a handful of Rice Krispies on top. I gently pressed to cereal into the cookie, then removed the cutter, and placed it on a baking sheet.
Yield: 36 large or 72 small cookies
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6-9 minutes
Sugar Cookie Icing and Cut Out Cookie Recipe
For the Cut Out Cookies:
3 sticks softened butter (1 ½ cups)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 eggs + 1 extra yolk
1 vanilla bean, opened and seeds scraped out
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
For the Sugar Cookie Icing:
2/3 cup half-n-half
1 tsp. extract of choice
4 cups powdered sugar
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy—5 minutes. Add the salt, pumpkin pie spice, eggs and vanilla bean seeds. Beat to combine.
Slowly add the flour until the dough in smooth. Then separate the dough and wrap it in 4 separate pieces. Place in the fridge and chill for at least one hour. (Could be made weeks in advance.)
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Remove one disk at a time. Flour a work surface and roll the disk out to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Work fast and cut the cookies as close together as possible. The more times you roll out the dough the tougher it gets. Use a thin spatula to transfer the cookies onto the baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 6-9 minutes.
Cool completely on the cookie sheets before moving.
For the Sugar Cookie Icing: Whisk the half-n-half, extract and powdered sugar together until smooth. Add food coloring if desired.
Dip and face of each cookie into the icing, then set on a rack to dry.