These Sugar Cookies are a great to have on hand for holiday trays and gift baskets, but if you’ve got a team to cheer on this year, I recommend you show your support with a tray full of cookies.
To tell you the truth, I’ve never been a huge fan of cut out cookies. They taste alright, but making, baking, cutting, and decorating them always seemed like a lot of work for a dessert that tastes “alright.” I’d prefer to whip up a cobbler, some chocolate chip cookies, or a pan of brownies.
But then I found an Ohio shaped cookie cutter.
And I was smitten.
I’ve been an Ohio resident for my whole life, and though I didn’t really appreciate it as a child, I’ve really come to love this state, and especially our home here in Columbus. Columbus is home to tons of unique, local restaurants, cultural events (that are often free!), museums, and one of the best zoos in the county. At the same time, it maintains a sort of humbleness about it. Our little neighborhood, just minutes from the skyscrapers of downtown, still feels like a small town. And if you drive just a half hour you’ll find rolling country side, golden wheat fields, and killer sunsets. It’s the best of both worlds.
And then, of course, there’s the Buckeyes. When the Mr. first moved here to Columbus, he was surprised by the level of devotion Ohio State fans have. He’s from Michigan (forgive him), so he’s familiar with the rivalry, but even he was stunned by the intensity of the Buckeye love around here. We Ohioans don’t have a whole lot of reasons to be excited about professional sports (I was raised a Browns fan, and yes, you should feel sorry for me), so we pour the majority of our sports devotion into the hometown college team. Buckeye fandom is part of the culture here, and it’s one of the things I love about this city.
So of course, I simply couldn’t resist buying that Ohio cookie cutter. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion, and there’s no better one than the Ohio State Michigan game coming up this Saturday. If you’re not from one of these two states, just know this. The OSU vs. MI game is the biggest of the season. It’s always a fight. It’s always intense. I think years of my life have been shaved off watching OSU battle Michigan.
This year, I’m doing my part by bringing cookies. And if these cookies are any indication, I think Saturday is going to be a winner.
I used a recipe for cut outs from the blog Bake at 350. Bridget, the lovely lady behind Bake at 350, knows what she’s doing when it comes to cookies. Her cut out recipe is simple and straightforward (after one batch I had it memorized). It can be made in under 15 minutes. It rolls out like a dream–no stickiness, no cracking–and the best part is, you don’t even have to refrigerate it first. Plus (and this part is pretty important), they taste good. I managed to eat one or three before I even got a chance to frost them.
I used royal frosting for the first time on these cookies and was pleased with the results. It’s time consuming, but it does make them look professional. Again, I got the frosting recipe from Bake at 350, but then I used this great tutorial from Annie’s Eats to get the piping and flooding technique just right.
Of course, this is a fantastic recipe to have on hand for holiday trays and gift baskets, but if you’ve got a team to cheer on this year, I recommend you show your support with a tray full of cookies. Nothing says “I’m a fan” like spending four hours turning cookies into edible cheerleaders.
Have a great weekend and GO BUCKS!
Ohio State Cut Out Sugar Cookies for The Game
For the cookies
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut in fourths
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- *Note: the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. I omitted this since I don't like the taste of almond extract, but feel free to add it if you prefer.
For the frosting
- 4 Tablespoons meringue powder
- Scant 1/2 cup water
- 1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2-1 tsp light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cookies:
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter on medium high speed until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add flour, beating until just incorporated.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly flour a workspace.
- Turn the dough out onto the floured work area. The dough will be a little crumbly, so use your hands to knead it together into a cohesive ball. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to ¼ in thick. Cut shapes as desired then place them on the parchment lined baking sheets. Place baking sheets in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then bake for 10-14 minutes or until cookies are set, but not browned. Allow to cool on the tray for about 5 minutes to set up, then remove and cool completely.
For the frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together meringue powder and water until foamy.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar (yes, you HAVE to sift. Yes, I know it's a pain. Yes, it will make your icing so much easier to work with). Beat on low to combine.
- Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract and beat. Increase speed to medium high and beat until stiff peaks form. The icing should hold a peak and not droop over when it's ready.
- Divide icing among different bowls to add food coloring as desired. Use the stiff icing to pipe around the outside of cookies and add details. To flood (fill) the cookies with color, add water 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing runs off the back of a spoon.
Recipe adapted from Bake at 350