Hello festive fellow SRCers!
I have a secret to tell you. Come close. Closer… Closer… Closer… Not that close. Okay, that’s better. Are you ready for it? Big secret here… You can’t tell anyone…Here it is: I love sugar cookies!
Why is that a secret you ask? Well, in the world of happy, ethical, whole & real food, liking sugar cookies is a big fat sweet no-no. Bad ethical food blogger! Bad! They’re loaded with everything we aren’t supposed to load up on: white flour, white sugar, icing sugar, food dyes, and in some cases, high-fructose corn syrup. But I love em! I love em! Do you hear me world? I. Love. Them.
Something I have been pondering on my blog lately has been what ethical food ways look like this time of year. Do we give up our rites of eating in exchange for holiday festiveness? Or do we uphold the rights of the planet, animals, and each other & fork out the extra 70$ for that pastured turkey over the conventional one?
Generally, I keep to it. Locally grown, organic, small scale. It’s how I eat and how I eat is how I live. That being said, there’s something to be said for tradition. Don’t get me wrong, tradition shouldn’t be upheld just for the sake of tradition. If we believed that, women would still be getting burned at the stake for having an opinion. But examined traditions – especially beloved ones – hold water.
Growing up I have very fond memories of Christmas traditions. Watching the holiday specials each year on CBC, decorating the tree with my younger brother, Mom draping the lights on the branches, driving around to look at the town’s lights on Christmas eve, eagerly waking up Christmas morning to the smell of coffee and sight of full stockings, Dad carving the turkey regardless of which extended family member was hosting dinner… Traditions. Which are probably the reason I get that warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach when the holidays come ’round. I love me some Christmas!
Once I moved out on my own though, I had to start my own traditions. For example, I am very particular about the order in which I decorate my tree. Following in the footsteps of Mom, I have to be the one now to put the lights on. I must have an advent calendar. Christmas music starts playing December 1st. And of course, I make sugar cookies. It takes hours between conception to baking to frosting to set – and hardly anything else feels as Christmasy to me as that process.
So whilst most of the year I espouse real eating of good, whole, locally organic foods – I do make small exceptions through out the year. One of them being sugar cookies. And you know what? I’m heck-darn-tootin’ good with that. Nobody can eat or live perfectly all the time. We’ll drive ourselves crazy trying to. And while a little crazy is just fine (i.e. insisting the tinsel is hung in 2 strand motions) - angry fanatical crazy isn’t (i.e. witch burning).
Sugar cookies at Christmas is home to me and I’m going home for Christmas…if only by way of cookies.
Homemade Frosted Sugar Cookies
makes anywhere between 25 – 40 cookies (depending on size of cutters).
Ingredients for Cookies:
1 1/2 C Butter, room temperature.
2 C White Sugar.
4 Pastured Eggs.
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract.
5 C White Flour.
2 Tsp Baking Powder.
1 Tsp Fine Sea Salt.
Ingredients for Icing:
2 C Icing/Confectioners Sugar.
2 Tbsp Milk.
1/2 Tsp Almond Extract.
Food Coloring (optional).
What to Do:
In a large bowl, cream the butter and white sugar with electrical beaters until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches until all incorporated. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 – 24 hours.
When ready to make the cookies, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Flour a dry flat surface and roll dough out to 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place on un-greased cookie sheets. Bake in the oven until golden on bottom and cooked through, approx 6-8 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your cookies. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
In a large bowl, fold the sugar into the milk until absorbed and silky. You may have to play with this a little bit. Add more sugar for a thicker glaze, more liquid for a thinner one. Once you have the desired consistency, set aside. You can pour some in a pastry bag to decorate the cookies or just slather on top. Toothpicks are helpful too. If you want to make separate colors pour some of the icing into individual bowls and mix with food coloring. Viola!
As you glaze cookies, set them aside somewhere safe to dry. This can take up to 24 hours.
What are your favorite (or least favorite) Christmas traditions?
Happy holidays to you all & have an inspiring and joyous new year,
Thank you Kristy for the wonderful post. Please check out more of Kristy’s delicious recipes at Gastronomical Sovereignty.