Festive Sugar Cookies Recipe…

Here comes the fall season, Halloween and Thanksgiving and the start of family gatherings. Here’s an easy recipe for cookies to bring to any occasion! You will see in the ingredients picture that I have the bob’s red mill gluten free baking flour, I am testing this out as a gluten free recipe. If you are not gluten free use this exact recipe only with regular flour, it turns out amazing either way! I’ll show you the recipe and then show you my ingredients and we will get baking!

This recipe says it makes 4+ dozen, I make my cookies 1/4 inch thick so I usually get 30 cookies.
Look close, you’ll see I’m using almond extract and not vanilla. There’s no reason for the change other then I didn’t realize I ran out of vanilla!
New to baking? When a recipe calls for softened butter you want it soft but not drippy. See how I can easily squeeze this stick of butter and it gives way like play dough? But it doesn’t drip out of the wrapper. This is perfect, your dough will come together without lumps of butter.
Follow the instructions as in the above recipe. Be sure to stop and scrap the sides of the bowl. Your dough should look like crumbly play dough. Making gluten free: your dough probably looks like crumbly sand…add two tablespoons of water and mix it again, this will make the texture come together
This is the GLUTEN FREE version WITHOUT adding the water. I just want to show you that adding the 2 tablespoons of water makes or breaks your cookies. Look how sandy this is, if you don’t add that little bit of water your cookies won’t even be able to be rolled out.
EXACT dough as pictured above. I put it back in the mixer and added two tablespoons of water. Now it is the same texture dough just like if it was not gluten free. Notice my dough is on plastic wrap. This is so you can roll it into a log.
Roll it into the log and wrap it up. Put in the fridge for about an hour.

You now have an hour to wait till you can get rolling the dough and making cookies..if you are doing this with kids they are probably getting antsy for the taste of cookies. So I’ve discovered that a good way to kill time is to stock up on the Pillsbury cookie dough. It’s already made, already shaped….preheat your oven to 350° and have your kids put it on the cookie sheet. In 9 minutes they will have cookies ready and able to eat them while picking out what cookie cutters they want to use!

These cookies aren’t the most amazing cookie in the world but the kids love the festive look and they bake quick! They are pretty cheap so grab them when they are on sale and keep in the freezer. Then you’ll have them whenever you need something quick to bake!
One of her favorite things to do is watch the cookies rise. And she was the one who put them on the cookie sheet. It’s seriously a great way to kill about a half hour of the time your dough needs to chill in the fridge.
Most important part about these cookies is do not over bake them!!!! 9 minutes is enough!!! Take them out and leave them on the hot cookie sheet until cooled. They will finish cooking as they cool.

Ok so now it’s been an hour, be sure your oven has preheated to 375°. Get your dough out of the fridge and flour your work surface. Roll out a portion of your dough to about a quarter inch thick. Today I used a pumpkin shaped cutter, you can choose whatever you like!

My favorite rolling pin is the child sized one, it’s easier to store in my small kitchen and less clumbsy to work with!
Place the cookies on a cookie sheet. I have a brown non stick pad I use but parchment paper will work just as great! See the heart? After all the cookies are cut there’s always a all bit left of dough. I make a “love cookie” shape by hand a small heart out of left over bits of dough. This is the cookie my daughter gets to taste test! She looks forward to seeing the love cookie at the end of baking!

Bake your cookies for about 13 minutes. They will just start to have a golden color on the edges. Gluten Free cookies shouldn’t be allowed to get too golden because they will end up to dry and hard. Original recipe cookies made with flour are more forgiving. So bake the cookies and allow to cool completely, if you don’t allow this then your icing will melt and slide off. My next pictures I will show you the “flooding” method to ice cookies. It’s easy and makes your cookies look neat! Today I’m using two store bought cream cheese frosting, I used food coloring to dye one container of frosting orange. The second container I split into two bowls, one dyed purple and the other green. You’ll need a piping bag and round trip for this method.

Pipe orange icing around the edges of the pumpkin cookie…this will act as a fence to hold in “the flood”. Once you outline all your cookies then take the rest of the orange frosting and warm it up in the microwave for just a few seconds. It needs to be runny and drippy but not boiling. Use a spoon and fill in all your cookies.
I used chocolate chips to make a jack-o’-lantern face. I also found eye ball sprinkles that you see in the main picture.
Decorate how ever you like. I piped a green stem on my pumpkins as well.
My daughter had her own cookies to decorate. She chose purple and used sprinkles to decorate. Here she is using a piping bag for the first time! She did pretty good!

Once your cookies are finished feel free to eat them up! If you plan to take them anywhere let them sit out to dry. The icing needs a chance to dry so that they don’t stick together if stacked. These cookies are gluten free, I just took them to a house warming party and they were eaten up within minutes…most the party guests didn’t realize they were gluten free!

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