When I think of my mom, one of the things I fondly think back to is all the times she joyfully embarrassed me. Like reading my Mother's day letter in public so that I had dozens of older ladies pinching my cheek the rest of the day, or doing some exemplary mom dancing with my dad (who also pulled some serious dad moves) at a dance they were chaperoning for four of my best friends to see. I've been practicing my own mom moves the past few years so that I can offer that kind of experience to my child one day. Every child deserves the experience ;)
The past five years hubby and I have been moving all over, and have lived far away from family. So for all you peeps in the same situation I wanted to make sure I put together a Mother's Day treat that was mail-able. And I know nothing better for mailing than a good sugar cookie. They're so customize-able and pretty, and they hold up real well. I used to send them in every care package to my deployed brother-in-law, although he didn't appreciate the recipe I used back then. So I'm sharing this more-loved recipe, which is marginally adapted from my mother-in-law. And it's a good one, guys.
Everything for sugar cookies can be found super affordably at 99 Cents Only, from the cookie to the icing, to the pan, etc., even these super pretty napkins and plates. This was a fun post to put together with the 99 because it was actually my mama who introduced me to them. We both adore the 99, and I kid you not, every time we get together we at least once talk about all the goodies we've recently found there. My mom is a little more hardcore than I am, she goes first thing in the morning to get the good stuff, and says there is always a line or crowd grabbing the newest items! I wish I was a morning person. But either way I always find some favorite brands for an awesome price. There's always something new and exciting, and I never know what I'll find especially among the produce.
Below I'm sharing my basic sugar cookie recipe so that you can personalize them with your own Mother's Day decorations. You can see some decoration inspo in my photos, though. Stamping with food coloring was fun, but a tip: make sure you use clean stamps that were packaged in plastic and haven't been used before, and wait for the icing to dry overnight so that it's hard enough to hold up to the stamps.
Find more great inspo for an affordable Mother's Day at the 99's hub.
Makes about 22 two-inch cookies
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, room temp.
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted + extra for dusting
- food coloring (opt.)
In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and combine well, then the vanilla. Then beat in the baking powder and salt. Mix in the flour until fully incorporated. After the dough is fully combined, form it into two disks, wrap both in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour.
Heat oven to 375F. Prep two baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper.
After chilling for an hour, remove one sheet of dough. On a clean surface dusted with powdered sugar, roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Continue to dust your surface and dough as needed to keep from sticking. Cut shapes out of the dough and place at least 1 inch apart on your sheet. Bake for about 7 minute until the cookies are just barely starting to golden around the edges. Do not overbake. Let cool on a rack. With leftover dough, reform it into a ball and repeat the process of rolling it out and letting it chill in the fridge while you work on the other dough sheet. Continue to repeat the process until done. Let cookies cool completely before decorating.
For the icing:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. On low, gradually add the powdered sugar until incorporated. Turn the speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. If the icing is too thick, add a teaspoon of milk or water, and if more is needed add it in tiny increments. To know you have the right consistency: drag a knife through the icing and count until the line disappears. You want it to disappear around 10 quick Mississippis. Mix in food coloring if desired.
Pour your icing into a thick plastic sandwich bag and snip a small hole in the corner. Use this to pipe the icing onto your cooled cookies. Let dry overnight before decorating.