Okay, so it's not exactly winter break and these photos are from 2006, but I've been eager to make a baking post. I scoured my hard drive for pictures of food I made that weren't a complete disaster and this is all I got. Just a heads up: my decorating skills weren't any good a year ago, nor are they any better today.
It's become a tradition for my mom and I to bake sugar cookies during winter break over the past few years. We've used a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens binder we bought at Costco.
We're always excited when we start, but that feeling quickly wanes after the first couple batches when we're faced with a giant ball of dough that requires more iterations of cutting and decorating. You think we would have learned to halve the recipe by now.
Yeah, yeah, it was a motley assortment of cookies, but I was too lazy to find the winter-themed cookie cutters and resorted to mixing the snowmen with tulips and rabbits.
Making green and orange icing seemed like a good idea at the time, but it probably wasn't the most appetizing color combination.
Despite their hideous appearance pictured above, they do go quickly when we have guests over. They are light and sweet, and not on the chewy side. My parents prefer them on the crispy side (not ideal for decorating) so I usually leave them in there for a couple minutes longer than the recipe calls for. I don't recommend these if you want an obnoxiously heavy cookie, such as a jumbo chocolate chip, as they are a simple, reliable standby.
I think this is the recipe (at least it seems close enough), I don't have the book at school with me but this is what resulted from my expert Google skills:
Sugar Cookies, from Better Homes and Gardens
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours or until easy to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 375F. Roll each half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough with a floured 3-1/2-inch cookie cutter in your preferred shape. Place cutouts 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake in preheated oven about 8 minutes or until edges are set. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool. If desired, spread with icing made from powdered sugar. Let stand until slightly set; pipe icing in decorative designs over iced cookies. Let stand until icing is set. Makes 36 cookies.