So this is a song about a couple that's broken up and now they realize it was a mistake. He shows up at her door, begging for mercy. She admits her own downfalls and begins to list all the reasons that they belong together. On the chorus she rocks the ever tender sentiment that we all dream of someone saying to us - "My life would suck without you!" - emphasis on the suck, mind you. So what in the heck does a song like this have to do with sugar cookies? Sugar Cookies and Kelly Clarkson are the two great loves of my youngest child, my daughter, my baby girl, who is turning 22 today. And even though my opening account of the song sounds a little tongue-in-cheek, I am also a big Kelly Clarkson fan - and I love this song, too! We frequently text this message to each other - for no reason other than to let the other know that we're thinking of them - and to give them something to smile about - the exact same results you get when you share a sugar cookie . . .
My little Debbie is a pint-sized bundle of surprises. I should have known what I was in for when I was in the last phase of labor with her and the hospital fire alarm went off. Just as she made her grand entry into the world the alarms were blaring, red lights were flashing - there was hustle and bustle both inside my room and outside in the hall. Yep - that should have been my clue! Instead, I have happily opted to continually be amazed by this child.
I don't know about other families, but our last child was sort of like the family pet. I mean this in the best possible way - like a teacher's pet - although, as I recall, she did have that panting like a puppy and licking people phase. Hmmm. She was our fifth child and we knew she was our final edition. Everyone adored her. Everything she did was hilarious. She was everyone's favorite "toy." I mean, why use a plastic potato prop when "the baby" rocked the Mr. Potato Head spectacles so much better! Our fourth child, who was only 22 months old when we brought home the new bundle, was fiercely protective of her new little sister. It's a wonder Debbie ever learned to walk or talk with so many people anticipating her every need. But, boy, did she learn to walk and talk. And dance!
As you all know, we all dance in the kitchen, but Debbie has perfected the art of dancing in her car - while driving! I call it "car-eography." It is quite the spectacle to see and I am usually reduced to fits of tears - the laughing-so-hard-you-cry kind of tears. Her movements are full of emotion and pack quite the interpretation of the song of the moment. My personal favorite is her spectacular and thoughtful production of Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me Now." Um. It really defies . . . well, explanation . . . gravity . . . reason? Yeah - all those. Her sister, the fiercely protective one I mentioned earlier, is a cohort in most of these extravaganzas. But more about her later - her birthday is in July.
Debbie is the one who got me thinking about culinary school. She was originally going to be the chef of the family. She ultimately decided against it but the seed was already planted in my head. She, however, has been a great supporter of my endeavor, and, having had some culinary training in high school, is able to talk "shop" with me on occasion.
I get to go be with her for her birthday this year. We have plans to spend the day shopping. I'm going to surprise her with a plate of these cookies AND a roll of the dough. I'll freeze it first then, right before I leave for the airport, I'll take it out and stash it in my carry on bag. It's only an hour and fifteen minute flight. It should work out perfectly.
As I started to decorate the cookies I got a little carried away and the first one came out like this:
Way too much frosting for Debbie! She has a low tolerance for sweet things. She most definitely did NOT get this from me! I have yet to discover my sweetness threshold! I backed off the frosting a bit - but I know she will most likely scrape it ALL off anyway and just enjoy the almond flavor of this spectacular cookie! It's from this recipe booklet which was in a stack of recipes I got from either my mother or grandmother when I first married.
It has long lost it's cover but I can only deduce that it's from Pillsbury as to it's constant reference to that particular brand of flour. It is the only sugar cookie I have ever made. Why change when it's so darn good?!
I look forward to my time with Debbie today - just as I have loved every single second of her existence thus far. My little Debbie.
Printable Recipe Card
3 c. flour (400 g)
1 c. sugar (200 g)
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 c. butter, softened
3 T. cream or milk
2 t. almond extract or vanilla
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix together until it becomes coarse crumbs. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, cream, and almond extract. Add to the mixer bowl with other ingredients and mix just until it comes together. Wrap dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Or you can freeze the dough at this time for later use. Thaw by placing in the refrigerator a day ahead of planned use.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Roll the dough to 1/4" thick. Cut into desired shapes. Bake for 5 - 8 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. This makes a thick and soft cookie. If you prefer a more crispy cookie, roll the dough thinner. You don't want these to get much brown at all - only a slight tinge of tan around the edges. Overbaking makes a dry cookie. Frost with buttercream frosting - use any flavor you desire in place of the vanilla.