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Merry Christmas, everyone.  :-)  It’s been a busy few weeks for me; I was going to fall back on a post about tortillas, which I have all the pictures for, but I woke up the other day and the first thing I thought was, “Really, Jennifer?  Really?  You’re going to post about tortillas on Christmas Eve?  Forget that.  Post about sugar cookies.”  I had not ever in my life made sugar cookies from scratch, but this did not stop me!  After all, fools rush in where angels fear to tread, right?

This recipe both was and wasn’t pretty easy to adapt — the dough worked perfectly the second time I tried it, I just turned out to be inadept at making the cookies the right thickness and decorating them properly, so it took me three tries to get them to bake up properly so I could take pictures!  It was a much more exciting adventure than usual (she said somewhat sarcastically) since I recently injured an ankle, and so have needed at least minimal help around the kitchen in order to avoid injuring my other ankle by walking around too much, as I have ankles of the approximate strength and tenacity of tissue paper.  (Thank God they heal a lot faster than they used to, back when I hadn’t been diagnosed with celiac yet and that “slow healing” symptom meant one twisted ankle turned into two twisted ankles turned into not being able to walk for two months turned into crutches for the next three.  The right orthotics for my feet plus no longer poisoning myself with gluten equals voila, an injured ankle no longer feels like a prison sentence.)

This time, there are so few pictures to go with the recipe I’ll forego my usual recipe-then-recipe-with-pictures format; there’s nothing weird or unusual about making this dough versus just plain old sugar cookies, so, no need to take baby steps through what it should look like and when, you really just mix everything up in order and there you go.  Wrap and refrigerate any dough you aren’t using right away, and you can make more later.

I mean, I don’t really need to convince anyone sugar cookies are awesome, right?  :-)

Sugar Cookies

Yield:  Depends how big you make them, but around two dozen biggish cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups dough mix
  • 3/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Whatever you plan to decorate with!

Directions:

1.  In large mixing bowl (preferably with a stand mixer), cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until combined.  Then mix in the eggs and vanilla, and finally combine the other dry ingredients; it takes a little while, but it’ll all combine into a fairly creamy, sticky dough, like this:

I find it works better — that is, you don’t have to worry so much about the dough getting too warm — if you refrigerate it for half an hour, or longer, before separating it out into cookies.

2.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, and preheat the oven to 350.  Somewhere away from the heating oven, take walnut-sized or small lumps of dough with your hands, and flatten them out into cookies on the cookie sheet, keeping them several inches apart.  Add any decorations that you want to be baked into the cookie, like chocolate chips, sprinkles, colored sugar, and so on; then, bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes.  Finally, add any decorations that shouldn’t be baked, like cookie icing, and your masterpiece snacks are ready!

As you can see, the cookies get quite a lot bigger when you bake them, so if you want really small cookies, you need to start with really small lumps of dough.  But if you don’t mind big cookies (I prefer them), just make sure they have enough space to grow!