Are the health regulations in your state limiting your child's baking activities? Try these easy, soft sugar cookies. Not only do these cookies come together quickly, but with a little creativity, they also skirt the Oregon Health Department's guidelines for school treats. Sugar cookies store and travel well and are therefore "non-readily perishable." When was the last time you saw something made from sugar, butter and flour perish? These cookies will be eaten in no time.
To maneuver around the requirement that all treats be "individually wrapped," consider a food sealer, or commandeer a shrink-wrap machine from your office supply room -- surprisingly fun to use. Finally, when rationalizing the mandate that your cookies come from a "proven source," remember that nothing has been proven to be more beneficial to a child than a mother's love. How could a school administrator argue with that?
Non-readily perishable sugar cookies
1/3 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking power
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla; mix until thoroughly blended. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add sifted dry ingredients to sugar mixture.
Wrap mixed dough in plastic wrap and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to approximately 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out miscellaneous shapes with floured cookie cutters, then transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to turn pale gold. Baking times may vary depending on the thickness and size of the cookies.
Working mom's glaze
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Miscellaneous sugar-based jimmies, candies or other baking decorations
Mix first four ingredients to form a smooth, thick glaze. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. When cookies are completely cool, decorate with icing and jimmies, candies, etc. Wait for icing to set before attempting shrink-wrap procedures.