Week 42: Tender Italian Sugar Cookies

Alright, so we’ve been doing quite a few cookies with pumpkin in them, so let’s change things up a bit and do something completely not related to fall: a sugar cookie!

So I was trying to find something different and unusual, and this seemed pretty simple that you can easily do it on the fly. There’s no butter required, so you can actually make this recipe on a whim. Even if you have butter still in the refrigerator, you can just cut what you need and melt it in the microwave. The only bizarre ingredient is probably the shortening that most people might not keep on hand.

The recipe starts off fairly simple by combining white sugar and shortening.

Shortening almost looks like vanilla ice cream, and I don’t recommend eating it with a spoon.

Once you combine the shortening and sugar, you throw in the eggs and vanilla. Then you throw in the dry ingredients, and you get your spiffy looking dough.

Yep, it’s cookie dough.

This recipe calls for the use of our trusty Oxo 1.5Tbsp scoop to make some perfectly rounded balls for baking. These were baked in the oven for 12 minutes, and they kinda looked like biscuits.

Cookies or biscuits?

Then you make some frosting and top the cookies by dipping the cookies into the bowl of frosting. The results look pretty good actually:

Red food dye plus blue food dye somehow turns into periwinkle…

Once they dry, they look amazing.

The utter magnificence!

This is a great recipe to make on impulse, and doesn’t really require planning ahead (like bringing anything to room temperature).


  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Food coloring and coarse sugar, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  5. Shape dough into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  6. For icing, in a small bowl, combine milk, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Tint with food coloring if desired. Dip tops of cookies in icing; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.


Week 27: Red White and Blue Cookies

Happy 4th of July!

For this week’s cookie recipe, I wanted something patriotic, and I managed to find a perfect recipe for it. It’s essentially a sugar cookie with a literal twist.

Note: This is not a cookie you make on impulse.

This kind of cookie takes so much time to do, so you need to make sure you plan your day accordingly. The dough needs to be refrigerated for a minimum of two and a half hours when all is said and done.

Also, the sanding sugar is something you’ll find at a craft store. I found mine at a local Michael’s, and they come in this little package. They’re about $1, and you only need one for this recipe.

So I made a mistake the first time I made this recipe. You need to be sure that you roll the dough along the short side to get that nice rolled look. On step 10, you need to cut the 9″ x 12″ sheet of the layered dough in half. What you need to do is cut it at the 4.5″ mark on the shorter length, and then roll it from the 4.5″ side. This will give you the swirl that you want in the final product.

Other than that, this recipe is probably the most challenging recipe I’ve made, and the final result (when done right) is absolutely amazing.

You don’t even want to see how they looked the first time…


  • ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • red food coloring
  • blue food coloring
  • Sanding sugar for decorating


  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes on medium-high speed).
  2. Add egg, vanilla extract and almond extract; mix on low speed until well combined.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix on low speed until well combined.
  4. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Place 1 piece back in mixer bowl and add several drops of red food gel; mix until color is uniform throughout dough.
  5. Repeat process using another piece of dough and the blue food gel. (Note: The 3rd piece of dough does not get colored.)
  6. Press each piece of dough into 4” squares and cover each piece individually with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. Remove one piece of dough and place between 2 sheets of wax paper. Roll dough into a 9”x 12” rectangle. Repeat process with the remaining 2 pieces of dough. Refrigerate dough (still between sheets of wax paper) for 30 more minutes.
  8. Remove all 3 pieces of dough from refrigerator. Peel top layer of wax paper off each piece and discard.
  9. Flip the piece of plain dough on top of the red dough; remove wax paper. Flip the piece of blue dough on top of the plain dough; remove wax paper.
  10. Cut the stacked dough crosswise to create (2) 4.5”x12” stacks of dough. Roll each of the stacks into a tight log lengthwise. Note: roll from the 4.5″ length side to get that swirl effect. If you roll it from the 12″ length side, they won’t come out right. Place on parchment-lined sheet pan and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  11. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  12. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  13. Using a serrated knife, slice each log into ¼” rounds. Place each round onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle tops of cookies generously with sanding sugar. (Note: If dough is too soft, refrigerate for another 30 minutes.)
  14. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just begin to turn brown.
  15. Let cookies cool on pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks until completely cooled.


Week 14: Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Frosting

Happy Easter!

Today’s cookie is something simple, but something I haven’t made yet: sugar cookies! Plus, it felt appropriate for Easter. I recommend a sifter for the flour mix for the cookies.

I also decided to make a homemade frosting on top of it as well, with an attempt to make it purple by combining red and blue food dye. Needless to say, it looks more like a gray, but I’m going to remain optimistic and say that it looks like a light purple, which is perfect for Easter. For better consistency with the frosting, I recommend sifting the powdered sugar before mixing.

Ingredients (Sugar Cookies):

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Directions (Sugar Cookies):

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color.
  3. Add egg and milk and beat to combine.
  4. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  5. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar.
  8. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill.
  9. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.


Ingredients (Frosting):

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions (Frosting):

  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter until light and smooth.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth and creamy.