This post is a continuation of last week's post on making cut-out sugar cookies with Bump
After we get the cookie dough all mixed, bagged and refrigerated until hard, I get the counter all ready for the actual cut-out process. I get out a mat to roll and cut on. (I have formica counters and don't particularly want them scratched up!) I get out the rolling pins, the cookie cutters and the basting brushes. And, I NEVER forget to get out my rolling... sticks. For lack of a better term, they are just my rolling sticks!
The sticks are very lightweight wood and are square. The sides are about 1 cm on each side - making them SQUARE!! I bought these a LONG time ago from Michael's Craft Store and may have cut them down to size. I have found, in recent history, these balsa sticks there and they are about 36" long. So, you could either cut it in half and have 2 long sticks to roll a large amount of dough or you can cut four pieces at 9 inches each and allow two people to roll at the same time.
This is the most important aspect in making these cookies, in my opinion!! You must have them to get a feel for just how thick the dough must be rolled to in order for the cookies to bake up soft and fluffy!
Now, the children can be assembled! They will come and be excited to do it all their selves! All you will have to do is step aside, them them work and keep your camera handy!
Flour is scattered on the counter and there will be two rolling areas since there are two cookie makers today!! :)
Branch shows Bump how to flour the rolling pin so that the cookie dough doesn't stick to the pin.
It was funny to watch Bump try to cover his pin in flour... and only get 1/3 of the rolling pin floured up! So, he got a little help from big sister!
I leave the cookie dough in the refrigerator until the "last minute" to keep it cold as long as possible. Then, I grab the bag of cookie dough and cut it in half. This is a quart sized bag that I put in there for Bump's letters. I also had a gallon sized bag - but I left that in the refrigerator for when Bump had made his pan of cookies. He is usually done and ready to go play after filling one pan and seeing it go into the oven. Then, I can move quickly to finish the rest of the triple batch!
Rolling out the dough CAN take a bit of force! This is a COLD dough - and the colder the better! Bump actually tried for a while and then passed the job over to me to get it where the cookies could be cut out.
But, that job he was not going to relinquish to me! No, there is not much dough there for him to work with, but after we cut those out, we re-roll and do it again... and again... I think that is what makes it fun for him and he is ready for some other things to play after filling one pan!
After cutting out the shapes, we put them on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Then I have some "paint" made up. I have tried several ways of making this, but find that this is the easiest if the end color doesn't matter a whole lot. This is about 2 Tablespoons of water with several drops - maybe a little squirt of liquid food color stirred in. NOW - if you have a counter top that will stain... beware!! I have them sitting in a little aluminum tray to toss when we are finished. I also make sure that the baking sheet is right up next to and over the edge of my rolling/cutting mat. So any drips will be kept off of my counter... in theory. There always seems to be a stray drip somewhere! Time and bleach water usually make them disappear.
A basting brush dipped in the "paint" makes colorful cookies. Yes, we were going to make Xs and Os, but as you can see... Ns snuck there way in! Remember we live in Nebraska... we always seem to make "Go Big Red" Ns!! It would have been nice if Bump used some red paint for the Ns instead of blue... we'll work on that another week!!
He used blue sprinkles - just the small kind often used on Christmas cookies.
Into the oven they go ... 350 degrees for 11 minutes! Just until the bottoms start to brown. Now, the smaller sized cookies could have come out a few minutes sooner, but they were not ruined by the extra 2 minutes. The larger cookies are around a 3 inch size and the smaller ones are closer to 1 1/2 inch cookies.
Out of the oven, puffed up and delicious!!! These didn't last long... good thing I had quite a bit more dough to make cookies to take over the weekend!
Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough
Mix the following:
3/4 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Combine the following dry ingredients and combine with the wet (or add part of the flour and then the salt and powder followed by the rest of the flour):
2 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
Chill until hard. Roll out on floured surface to 1 cm thick. Cut out shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes (for 3 inch cookies) or 9 minutes (for 1 1/2 in cookies) OR until bottoms of cookies are barely browning.
UPDATE: I went on the hunt to purchase some more of these "rolling sticks" to send to my friend, Jessica, and discovered that I was incorrect. The balsa wood sticks are far to soft to use. Please use instead "Basswood" sticks and hobby stores sell them 24" X 3/8" X 3/8" and I cut mine down to 12" lengths. They are sold in the department where you would purchase things for making model airplanes and cars. Hope this helps in YOUR search!!