A couple of weeks ago, we had an Avengers movie night with some friends. I’ll admit, I was more than a little excited about it – the Avengers/IronMan/Captain America movies are some of my favorites. (Does this make me a nerd? Or am I only a nerd if I dress up like the characters and go to Comic-Con? Don’t answer that.) So, I knew I wanted to make something extra-fun for the evening. I brainstormed for a while, and then realized that I’d better make up my mind, or we’d be arriving empty-handed.
COOKIES! And not just any cookies, Captain America cookies! (After all, he is my favorite Avenger. Plus, I really had no idea how to make an Ironman cookie in just a couple of hours.) Star-spangled, red, white and blue, sugary awesomeness. (Andy pointed out that I could have also made Thor hammers out of rice krispies – something he would have preferred. However, he offered this advice about five minutes before we had to leave.)
The next challenge: I needed a sugar cookie that wouldn’t require advanced preparation (i.e., hours chilling in the fridge). Good thing I’d been perusing the archives over at Branny Boils Over. The dough went from butter and sugar in my mixing bowl to baked and cooling in about 15 minutes! Even better, it tasted great too. (So good, in fact, that we wondered why I was baking it in the first place… could we have Captain America cookie dough balls? Hmmm…) The finished cookies took a dip in icing and then were dusted with red and blue sprinkles. Start to finish in under two hours! Win-win-win!
Wilton Sugar Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. (I realize as I’m typing this that I was actually supposed to mix the dry ingredients together and gradually add them in. Whoops. Totally missed that the first time around. Feel free to actually follow the directions if you want, or be a rebel like me. Your call. 🙂 )
Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness. Dip cookie cutters into flour and cut dough into shapes. Bake on prepared cookie sheets for 5-7 minutes, or until cookies are barely golden on the edges. (Do your best not to overbake! Overbaked sugar cookies = crispy Captain America stars. Crispy stars did not get to go to the party. They were banished to the cookie jar at home.) Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Decorate with icing (recipe follows) and sprinkles as desired. Store in an airtight container.
Powdered Sugar Icing
Milk (2-3 tablespoons)
Food coloring (if desired)
Pour powdered sugar (about a cup) into a small mixing bowl. Slowly add in milk until desired consistency is reached. Tint with food coloring as desired. If frosting is too thick or thin, add more milk or powdered sugar until it’s the consistency you’re looking for. Spread or drizzle icing over cooled cookies. Let cookies set until hardened, about an hour.
(I actually have no idea who first invented this “recipe” for icing. My mother-in-law introduced me to it when Andy and I were dating. She puts it on her molasses cut-out cookies, which happen to be the only cut-outs that Andy likes. So recipe credit goes to her on this one!)