Today, we wrap-up our week-long feature on holiday baking and middle grade fiction about baking. But first, author Lisa Schroeder stops by with a guest post about why she loves baking, and shares one of her favorite recipes.
Be sure to check out Lisa’s three great middle grade books about baking:
- It’s Raining Cupcakes
- Sprinkles & Secrets
- Frosting & Friendship
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It is a fact: I love to bake. And I’ve loved to bake ever since I was a child. I have really happy memories of baking cookies with my best friend, Laurie, when I was eight and nine years old. Before Christmas, we’d spend an entire day making all kinds of cookies.
Now, as an author, when I spend months writing and editing a book, there is something so very calming and also satisfying about baking up a batch of cookies or cupcakes. I feel so accomplished after I’ve baked up some delicious treats. There are times when I’m frustrated at the computer and the kitchen will call to me. It’s like my brain knows that sometimes the best thing is to step away from the computer and go make something where you can see real results quickly. Suddenly, I don’t feel like such a failure anymore.
Having written an entire book about cupcakes and a cupcake shop, you might think my favorite dessert is cupcakes. But that’s not really the case. I do love them, of course, but I think my favorite desserts are actually fruit tarts and sugar cookies.
I searched long and hard for a great sugar cookie recipe, one that wasn’t plain and boring, but had some real flavor to it, and I finally found it a number of years ago, in “The Oregonian” of all places. Now that I have a great recipe, I also look for cute cookie cutters that aren’t just for Christmas, because I want to be able to eat them all year long! I got some adorable flower cookie cutters at Target, and the cool thing is I can turn the tulip upside down and make ghosts at Halloween.
You want the recipe? I hope so, because I’m going to share it with you!
Best Sugar Cookies
- 1 ½ cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter (room temp)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2 ½ cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
Mix sugar and butter together. Add egg, vanilla, almond extract and mix well. Measure flour by dipping method. Sift flour, baking soda and cream of tartar together, then blend ingredients. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough to ¼ inch (note: the dough will be hard! Use lots of flour and just keep working it, and it will get soft). Cut with cookie cutter. Sprinkle with sugar if you don’t want to frost them. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until barely brown. Don’t overbake! I like them frosted, and just use the butter cream recipe on the powdered sugar box.