My Happy Color (and a great recipe for sugar cookies!)
Turquoise, aqua, teal, seafoam, Tiffany blue, caribbean blue, sea glass. Call it what you like, but I call it my signature color. It’s not one specific hue, but anywhere within this range that is truly the color that calls to me on gloomy days, when I need to feel inspired, and what I seek out from the clothes I wear to the pots I cook with to the color of my bathroom. I could sit in an empty room with nothing but the walls painted turquoise and be perfectly contempt. I mean I could go on and on and on...
Let’s talk open houses! When I’m planning an open house, party, girls night or the like, I use my go-to color as a jumping off point. You can do the same. Maybe pink is your color of choice. Maybe you have a favorite animal that inspires you or makes you feel happy. Go for it!
In sticking with the theme, I’ve chosen door cookies packaged with my business card information and turquoise lemonade in adorable glasses with turquoise striped straws. A take away is always a great reminder for someone to get in touch with you after the open house and there’s no better way to say ‘Remember me?” than with a baked treat.
I’m as much of a sucker for a soft sugar cookie as I am for turquoise. Don’t bring your crispy cookies to me...ever! I have no time for that! Sugar cookies were meant to be pillows of mildly sweet vanilla cakey deliciousness that tow the line between baked and underbaked, cookie and cake, reminding me of that childhood feeling of white bread squishing between my teeth on a perfectly crafted PB&J. I remember first tasting these particular cookies in the 5th grade. My classmate brought these to school decorated as giant easter eggs, one for each student. Since that day, this is the only sugar cookie recipe I ever use.
This recipe calls for basic ingredients, it’s the technique that’s important for achieving the perfect sugar cookie. That starts with the mixing phase. Don’t over mix! If you have to, stop
the mixer just before the mixture is completely incorporated so as to not overdevelop the gluten in the flour. If you do, your cookies will be tough. There is some textural insurance though in the form of the small dose of milk in this recipe. I’m convinced that is the magic behind it. I choose to finish the mixing right on my board (made by my father and the only one I ever use). If it helps, think of them as biscuits. I use the same light hand as when forming biscuits on a sunday morning.
The next super important step is baking the cookies. I pull mine out only when they get a smidgen of color on the bottom. This ensures the tops will be slightly underbaked and fluffy. You can choose to cook yours longer, but that’s your business.
These are super simple because there is no cookie cutter required, just a ruler or a steady hand to cut them in a rectangle for your door.
Now my topping of choice I understand can be somewhat controversial as well when it comes to the perfect sugar cookie. I chose royal icing (turquoise of course) simply because of the durability and clean look that it gives, but by all means, slather on some buttercream if that makes you happy.
I piped thick lines of the easy to dispense royal icing and then flooded (a technique that uses thinned royal icing to fill in the void with a self leveling and smooth quality) the cookie to cover the door.
After that dries (like really dries, as in hard to the touch) I detailed the doors with more thickened piping and a sweet little number of the house I was showing. It’s the details that will get them to remember you.
To make them look extra special I wrapped them in cellophane and topped them with my business card information. Even the simplest of cookie can look very professional when packaged this way.
I’m in love! Look how sweet these goodies turned out! These cookies are not just great for parties, but think holidays, teacher gifts, birthdays, etc. Open the door to this recipe in your kitchen and let the fun begin.
Recipe: Perfectly Soft Sugar Cookies
Credit: Maranda Walker Reeed
1 c. Butter, room temperature
2 c. Sugar
3 Eggs, room temperature
2 Tblsp. Milk
5 c. All Purpose Flour (unbleached)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (or substitute vanilla extract)
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add egg one at a time. Add milk and vanilla and beat. In a separate bowl combine flour and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture slowly incorporating. Stop before completely combined by the mixer and finish by hand so as not to overmix.
Form dough by hand into a flat disc and chill, wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Roll dough on lightly floured surface to ¼ -½ inch thickness (depending how fluffy you like your cookies) and cut with cookie cutters of your choice or with a pizza wheel for rectangles shown above.
Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes for soft cookies and 8-10 minutes for crunchy cookies or just till slightly golden.
Frost with frosting of your choice. I use Wilton meringue powder for ease of preparation for royal icing.
Decorate to suit your theme. Enjoy!