Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First Halloween Full of Treats

This was the best Halloween yet. I know Jack is only 5 months old (well, 6 next week), but seeing him in his little cow costume was the cutest thing I've ever seen. I'm definitely a proud mama and that little boy just makes my heart spark every time he smiles at me. He was out by 6pm, but his grandparents at least got to see him in his costume for a quick minute. We had our friends and family over for Jeremy's famous chili and though we only had a few trick-or-treaters, we had a great night.

My little moo cow!

Too much Halloween fun...

I made some fun spiderweb sugar cookies for dessert. This is the easiest recipe for sugar cookies ever and they are super yummy. My mom heard about it on Good Morning America a few years back and they have been our go-to rolled sugar cookie recipe ever since. It's the recipe of a White House pastry chef.

White House Sugar Cookies

  • Dough

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, soft, unsalted

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • Icing

  • 2 egg whites (from large eggs)

  • 4-6 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice

  • liquid food color, as desired

  • Cooking Directions

    Combine sugar and butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 8-10 minutes with an electric mixer and paddle attachment.
    Add eggs and vanilla and blend.
    Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add. Mix until a dough forms.
    Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least two hours or overnight before using.
    Roll on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thick. 
    Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Baking times depend on the oven. Rotate baking tray halfway through the baking time. Do not over-bake or cookies will get too hard. These cookies should be soft.
    Let cookies cool completely before decorating.
    Makes about 2-3 dozen cookies (depending on size of cutters).
    Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer.
    Sift powdered sugar. Gradually add sugar as mixer is running on low speed. May require a little more or less sugar depending on size of egg whites used.
    Add lemon juice and vanilla and blend well.
    Divide icing into small bowls and color as desired.
    Decorate cookies as you wish.

    I knew I wanted to make circle cookies, so I rolled my dough into logs before freezing, then just sliced and baked.

    First frost (again with the funky orange..)

    Use white gel icing to create a swirl

    Drag a toothpick through the swirl to create the spiderweb look.

    ***Notes on the cookies and icing***

    The key to these cookies is beating the butter and sugar for 8-10 minutes. I let it go for 10 so it's nice and fluffy. Also, do not over-bake! It will dry the cookies out. They may look a little underdone, but trust me, they're supposed to be that way in order to stay soft. You can sub cold water for the egg whites and I skip the vanilla and lemon and use almond extract instead.

    I'll be making these again in a couple of months for Christmas!

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