FOOD & DRINK

My holiday recipe: Simple sugar cookies to keep little hands busy

Sara Germanotta, of Sara's Baking Blog, has a recipe that comes out perfect every time.

Sara Germanotta, of Sara's Baking Blog, has a recipe for perfect cookies every time

Sara Germanotta, of Sara's Baking Blog, makes sugar Christmas cookies with her kids every year. (Submitted by Sara Germanotta)

Every Christmas, Montreal baking blogger Sara Germanotta gets together with her kids, nieces and nephews for a day of cooking, baking and decorating.

As someone who's been experimenting in the kitchen since she was 12, Germanotta was looking for a way to get her children involved without things devolving into a royal mess.

"They love decorating with the icing and the sprinkles — they go crazy. And they eat half the icing, and half of it ends up on the floor — but they love it," she said. 

"They look forward to it because it's kind of become a little tradition in the family."

Getting the family together for cookie decorating each year has become a tradition. (Submitted by Sara Germanotta)

When it comes to sugar cookies, Germanotta says the recipe doesn't have to be anything fancy — anything can be salvaged with a dab of icing and lots of sprinkles.

In settling on this recipe, she said it's a winner because of how these cookies keep their shape.

"The problem that most people have with sugar cookies is that they end up puffing up and spreading in the oven, and they're all deformed," she said.

When it comes to putting the finishing touches on, Germanotta starts channelling Martha Stewart.

"It's a combination of, like everything else, patience, practice and having the proper tools," she said.

"You keep doing it and you make a hundred mistakes, and then eventually you get the hang of it."

Germanotta says the secret to great cookie decorating is patience, practice and making sure you have the right tools. (Submitted by Sara Germanotta)

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cups of salted butter, softened
• 2 cups of sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1 teaspoon of almond extract
• 5 cups of all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Method:

• Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fully combined. 
• Add the eggs and almond extract.
• Reduce mixer speed to low and add in the flour and baking powder, one cup at a time, until fully incorporated.
• Wrap cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight. The dough can also be frozen at this point for later use.
• Preheat oven to 400 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 
• Once dough has chilled, roll out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness and use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes.
• Place cookie cut-outs on prepared baking sheets and put the entire baking sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill. 
• Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Yield: Approximately 30 cookies

About the Author

Marilla Steuter-Martin

Marilla Steuter-Martin has been a journalist with CBC Montreal since 2015.

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