Thursday, May 27, 2010

For A Soldier And His Mom

I made these cookies for a special friend and her son- Janet and Brandon. Ever since I got these cool 'message in a cookie' cookie cutters from Williams-Sonoma I knew I wanted to make these for them.

I've been chatting with Janet via email and phone conversations for several months now. While we've never met in person we've become great friends. We talk about our foodie finds and lust over Le Creuset and Williams-Sonoma. We talk about life and family, baking, shopping and blogging. We laugh and sometimes we cry. Sometimes we send eachother little gifts from time to time and that's where these cookies come in.

While Memorial Day is not a "happy" holiday, it is about remembering our fallen soldiers and honoring our veterans. I wanted to do something to acknowledge a brave and courageous young man who is currently fighting for our freedom in Afghanistan. I've sent a couple care packages to Brandon but this time, this one was for Janet. I know these are just sugar cookies but I wanted to let her know that I think of her and her son daily and I appreciate his service and her friendship.

I got these cookie cutters in December but I just now got around to using them, and I broke them in in a perfect way, don't you think? They were really fun and easy to use. You just slide the letters or phrases into a channel on the underside of the cutter, push the cookie cutter into the dough, then you gently press in the plunger to imprint a message on your cookie. Once you lift the cutter, you're left with a perfect personalized cookie. This set also comes with a heart shape cutter which I'll be using in the future for a special little girl ;-)

Sugar Cookies from Williams-Sonoma

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Food coloring gel (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Over a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and a few drops of food coloring gel and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixture occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another minute.

Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and continue beating until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls, Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 2 days.

Dough can be made ahead of time up to this point.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Dip cookie cutters into flour just before using and cut out shapes. Place on the baking sheet. Gather up the scraps, reroll them and cut out additional cookies. Refrigerate the cookies until firm 20 to 30 minutes. You want the cookies to be really cold and hard otherwise when you bake them, they'll spread and lose their shape.

Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the parchment sheets with cookies onto wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly onto the racks and let cool completely.

Decorate with royal icing. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes 12 to 15 cookies (I got 20 cookies).

Royal Icing Using Egg Whites from Joy of Baking
  • 1 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until foamy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth.

The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.

Thank you Brandon! Be safe and come home soon!

42 comments:

Maranda said...

This is such a sweet idea! The cookies are lovely (as always!). I especially love the tri-colored stars.

As a daughter and wife of soldiers I have to say that I appreciate this post very much. I know your friend will be absolutely delighted with this package.

Thanks for sharing...and thanks for just being so awesome!

sharonjo said...

What a lovely, meaningful, from-the-heart gift!

God Bless our servicemen and women and our veterans--and the families who wait for them at home.

♥peachkins♥ said...

This is very sweet!


blowing peachkisses
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things

Memória said...

These cookies look fantastic. I like the one with the three colors in one. Wow. You are so talented.

Katie said...

They look wonderful, never seen message cookies before. So effective

Marie said...

What a wonderful way to show your appreciation! Love this! xxoo

Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} said...

Your post was a beautiful tribute. Thanks, what a great and thoughtful way to use those messages.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

This is so special.I just know that those cookies will taste even better because of the 'love' in them.
Blessings,Ruth

Raina said...

These are great! Not only are they beautiful but the messages are just heart warming. This family you are sending them to will surely be touched.

These are an awesome idea for the Fourth. I am just trying to figure out how you got the different colors in the cookies. Did you just squish the different colored doughs together before rolling?

Joycee said...

What a great post Monica! We honor those brave men and women who have died so that America stays safe and strong. Despite the economy, regardless the unrest...we still find pride and honor in being Americans!

Alison said...

These cookies are wonderful. A great Idea!

Cassie said...

What beautiful cookies, and what a wonderful way to celebrate all that the brave men and women in the armed forces do to keep us safe. I hope you ahve a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, Monica!

Kerri said...

Outstanding! Just thinking of how a seemingly small thing like a cookie could make someone feel so appreciated and loved makes my heart so happy! Great job.....AGAIN!!! Hugs from KY!

The Pickrel Family said...

What amazing looking and meaningful cookies. I can't even begin to think of doing these, you make them look too perfect!! They are wonderful and you are so talented!

Smitten Sugar said...

What a sweet idea! I bet she was so thrilled especially this time of year. I can only imagine what she and her son go through everyday. I have seen this cookie cutters and always thought of using them for valentines but you did a amazing job using them for this occasion!

My favorite is the red, white and blue star cookies. :)

Avril Miller said...

Oh Honey....these cookies are so special! You have done a fabulous fabulous job....I'm once again so impressed and in awe of your creativity. :-)

Ok, so now I'm off to order up some of those lovely "message cookie cutters" so I can try and create some fun cookies just like you! :-)

The Duchess of Wessex said...

Beyond words...

Your friendship and care mean absolutely everything to me.

Thank you for standing with Brandon and his buddies, and with me as his mom.

Jennifurla said...

Those cookies are just lovely, what a nice gesture.

I myself am a 5 year veteran of the Navy, care packages are just the best!

tobias cooks! said...

Great idea those cookies! I love it.

kelly said...

care packages are the best expression of love and thanks! those are beautiful cookies, very cool cookie cutters!
thank you brandon!

Ingrid said...

You are hands down the awesomest person! You're so very thoughtful and such a generous friend.

The cookies turned out fantastic. Very cool and that special little girl (& her Mama) is going to be so thrilled with her cookies!

Hope you have a fabulous and safe weekend....I'll be talking to ya soon! :)
~ingrid

chocolatecoveredgummiebears said...

These are so gorgeous and thoughtful!

oneordinaryday said...

These are absolutely wonderful, Monica. Such a thoughtful, kind friend you are.

My godson is serving in Germany right now and I also think of him and his mom daily. What an amazing gift they're giving the rest of us.

jacobskitchen said...

What a simple, beautiful, and thoughtful thing to do. Monica, you are always such an inspiration. I check in on your blog every day. Keep up the great work!

Julie said...

The cookies are just beautiful (I love those cutters!). You're so very thoughtful :)

Holly said...

These cookies are awesome!!! Such a wonderful and thoughtful thing to do for your friend and her son-I bet he thought it was great:)!!

Rob and Michele said...

Monica,
Love your blog. Each visit is like a little spa treatment:) What a wonderful thing you did. I am off to order those cookie cutters, too! Thank you for sharing your beautiful and tasty creations with all of us!! I have referred many friends:)
~Michele

Karyne said...

great cookie cutters! where did you buy them?

Robin Sue said...

Such thoughtful and beautiful cookies. So professional looking, no even better!

girlichef said...

I would cry if I received these as a gift...I'm tearing up just looking at them, actually. They're gorgeous. =)

Rainy Day Farm said...

What a wonderful gift to someone. They look yummy too. Love the cookie cutters.

brandy said...

Hi I am actually in the middle of making these cookies and noticed that the vanilla and egg are in the ingredient list but not mentioned in the directions.... helllp lol what am i missing here

bridget {bake at 350} said...

What a great friend you are! The cookies are AWESOME!!! I especially love the marbleized one...very cool!

Monica H said...

Brandy,

I copied and pasted this recipe off the net and didn't check it. I'm sorry for the inconvenience!

Once you beat the butter and add the sugar and food coloring, THEN YOU ADD THE EGG AND VANILLA. before adding the flour. I'm sure as long as you add it to the dough it will be fine. I'll fix the recipe and again I'm sorry it wasn't correct the first time. Thanks for letting me know!

~Monica

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Monica, you are such a thoughtful person. What a lovely tribute to remember our brave men & women who are fighting for our country. It's a thankless job, but I try to remember that soldiers are someone's son, daughter, wife or husband. I'm slightly envious that I'm not one of those phone calls, like we once had. You know the drill-- busy at work and all. Still, I won't miss a post of what you do. I admire your talent and thoughtfulness dearly.
xoxo

Kerstin said...

What adorable cookie cutters and such a lovely post and so sweet of you!

tamilyn said...

I bet she absolutely ADORED them!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

I love those cookie cutters, and your decorating! Thank you, Brandon!

tryityoumightlikeit said...

These are so pretty!

Sook said...

Aww, what a sweet post.

cookies and cups said...

Monica ~ these are awesome! I will have to look out for those cool message cutters. Such a sweet friend you are :)

Mya said...

Super duper cute and thoughtful idea!!

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