Every family has its holiday traditions, and one of my favorites is making Christmas cookies. When I was a little girl, I loved to help my mom mix the dough, roll it into balls, and then press them and sprinkle them with red and green sugar, but the best part has - and I suspect always will be - licking the beater. I remember a fellow Girl Scout cross-stitching a design that read, "The joy of cooking is licking the spoon;" truer words have never been written, in my opinion. One of the joys of having daughters is getting to share this tradition with them. it seems they have the same taste that I do for cookie dough!
Here's our family recipe for Cookie Press Sugar Cookies:
1 c. butter, softened
1 2/3 c. sugar (plus a little extra for pressing the cookies)
3 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking POWDER (not soda - made this mistake once and the cookies were dreadful!)
3/4 tsp. salt
red and green colored sugar (sanding sugar is best - the smaller granules work better than larger ones)
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder; sift; add to butter mixture.
Roll small balls of dough and place 2" apart on non-stick cookie sheet (I line mine with parchment paper - easy clean up).
Butter a cookie press (or spray with Pam) and then dip into extra granulated sugar; press balls down until about 1/8" thick, dipping press into sugar after each use. Sprinkle with colored sugar.
Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
Cool; store in airtight container; enjoy!