It's half term here and with the weather looking decidedly bleak the obvious way to kill a few hours is with some home baking, Valentine's day is a obvious theme right now. Cut out cookies it was to be but the 'problem' with cut out cookies and children is that children love to 'play' with their piece of dough. It gets rolled, shaped, crumpled up, re-rolled, re-shaped and so on after a while it becomes tough and inedible - for the children - personally I don't eat the re-rolled creations, I simple admire the work of my little angels.
In my quest to find a good workable, child friendly dough I tried a much recommended one from Martha Stewart, her sugar cookies. This dough was great, I found it a little wet to start with and added a extra 3/4 cup of flour but apart from that it was a dream to work with. We started off with heart shaped cookies, moving onto champagne flutes - quite fitting for Valentine's day, before long my son was cutting out palm trees and flamingos - wishful thinking for a drab and dreary February.
from The Martha Stewart cookbook
Makes approx. 2 dozen cookies
2 cups of all purpose flour (I needed a extra 3/4 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 pound butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 tbsp brandy - I swapped for milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Sift together the dry ingredients. In a electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light; add the egg, brandy and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix until well blended
Wrap and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
Preheat the oven to 400f. On a lightly floured board, roll out one third of the dough at a time. Roll to about 1/8inch thick and cut out with cookie cutters. Put shaped on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Do not allow to burn. Cool on racks.
Decorate as your children choose to do so.