THESE irresistible cookies from Marilyn Hnatiuk have an irresistible name. "Bullet-proof" refers to the way these cookies hold up to repeated rolling and re-rolling without becoming tough, making them perfect for baking with kids. For Marilyn, making and decorating sugar cookies with her two granddaughters is a cherished Christmas tradition. (Cleanup is easier now than it was in their preschool days, Marilyn adds.)
Bullet-proof sugar cookies
228 g (1 cup) butter, softened
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla
900 ml (4 cups) all-purpose flour
15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder
60 ml (1/4 cup) light cream or evaporated milk
250 ml (1 cup) icing sugar
about 30 ml (2 tbsp) water
food colouring (optional)
decorating sugars and sprinkles (optional)
Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Grease large cookie sheets. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, 250 ml (1 cup) at a time, alternating with the cream or evaporated milk. Chill dough for at least 10 minutes before rolling. Divide dough into quarters, then roll out onto a well-floured surface to about 5 mm (1/4 in) thickness. Cut with cookie cutters, then place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove cookies to a rack to cool.
To decorate before baking, brush cookies with beaten egg white, dust with sugar or sprinkles, and bake. To decorate after baking, make sugar glaze. In a small bowl, stir icing sugar with a little bit of water at a time until smooth and spreadable. Add food colouring if desired. Spread cooled baked cookies with glaze and add sprinkles immediately, as glaze sets quickly. Yields 4-5 dozen medium-sized cookies.
Tester's notes: This is a terrific all-purpose sugar cookie with lots of vanilla flavour. As the name promises, it holds up well to handling, rolling and cutting out. I made quite small cookies, which meant that the adjusted baking time was about 8-10 minutes.
-- Alison Gillmor