You know that feeling when you stare at a word long enough, it starts to morph into an unrecognizable stranger and loses all meaning? Suddenly, you’re like is that really how you spell the word “the”? Yeah, that’s basically how I feel about the phrase “cabin fever” because actually there’s no such thing here in the Midwest anymore. It’s just regular life now. Go home, winter, you’re drunk…you have officially overstayed your welcome.
It’s snowing here today…again. A sentence I’ve uttered about 50 times so far this winter and will probably continue to say well into March. It’s okay. I’ve learned how to cope and have now learned the secret to survival under these conditions with little ones: Treats. Lots and lots of treats. Kid treats (cookies), and grown-up treats (wine). How many treats does it take to stay sane through this season? The limit does not exist.
We’ve made lots of treats over the past several weeks, but one of my favorites to make for various holidays are these butter cookies. They are soft, buttery and in my opinion just a huge improvement on regular sugar cookies with royal icing.
Every time I get my mixer out and start baking, my four year old comes running. He has the best cookie radar on the planet and will somehow hear the mixer from any floor in the house. I usually reserve baking for times when my husband is home and can run interference, but that never seems to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love baking and cooking with my kids, but anyone who doesn’t lose their patience while cooking with toddlers or preschoolers is quite honestly a saint. And for someone with OCD tendencies like myself, plus a strong-willed child who doesn’t like waiting for directions, there have been times I just want to pull my hair out. Luckily I’ve learned a few things over the past few years that keep us all a little happier in the kitchen:
If you need it to look good…don’t make it with your kids. Just don’t do it. Wait till they are out of the house or asleep. There will be plenty of other times you can bake something with them and actually enjoy it.
Just breathe. Seriously. Repeat as needed.
If you enjoy baking as a hobby, be sure to do it alone sometimes. You have to fill your cup up too.
Give up the idea that things need to be Pinterest or Instagram worthy. I want my boys to remember me with a smile on my face and enjoying that time together with them…not stressing about perfecting a baked good.
One day they will not want to bake with me anymore. And that fact makes me waaayyy more sad than any mess ever could.
This recipe was given to me by one of the college girls I used to cook for in Oregon. Her and her mom spent the weekend making these delicious cookies for Christmas and were nice enough to gift some of them to me. I was blown away by how yummy they were and immediately requested the recipe. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Stay warm and stay sane. 🤪🍷🍪
Butter Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
These cookies are soft, buttery, and can be dressed up for any holiday.
Yield: about 2 dozen cookies
8 oz butter (2 sticks)
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
½ t. salt
Preheat oven to 375 F. In mixing bowl, cream butter, gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla, scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Mix together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in large bowl. Gradually add to creamed mixture until flour disappears. Wrap up dough in plastic wrap and chill for one hour. Roll out between two sheets of wax or parchment paper. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters or freehand them with a butter knife. Bake 8-10 min. Let cool, then spread with buttercream frosting and sprinkles (recipe follows). Lay flat on a baking sheet and chill in fridge for a couple hours to firm up the frosting, then store the cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.
6 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. (about 4 ½ cups) confectioners sugar, sifted.
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
Cream butter, gradually add about half the sugar, blending well. Beat in vanilla and 2 Tbsp. of the cream. Gradually blend in remaining sugar. Add enough cream to make the frosting spreadable. Can mix in food coloring to make desired colors.
- The dough can be made weeks, even months ahead of time and frozen. Just wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer bag. You can make a huge batch before Halloween and have enough dough to last through Valnetine’s Day!
- No cookie cutters? Just use a butter knife and freehand it. Come on, live on the edge a little. 😜
- You can substitute half and half or milk in place of the whipping cream, just use less and add a little at a time until just spreadable.