Thursday, April 03, 2008

Let's Talk About Free Stuff...

I can't believe I had gotten away from couponing. I am so happy to be back. I get free stuff each time I go to the store. I will admit I have been spending more time in stores but I have been spending considerably less. Last week I went to Giant Eagle to get some of their loss leaders when I ran across the Easter clearance stuff. I almost walked right past because trust me we don't need another piece of candy at our house - I don't care how cheap it is. In fact, I threw away the rest of the Easter candy yesterday. I kept eating it. That - coupled with Jake being home - and I have gained 3 lbs. back. Grrrrrr..... I won't let this happen. So, I almost walk past and something catches my eye - cookie cutters. Easter and Spring type cookie cutters from Wilton. They are the nice ones with the rubber gripper part on them. I think they were originally $4.99 or $5.99. They were on clearance for a QUARTER! Isn't that something? I bought 2 different flowers and a butterfly. I also bought a four pack of medium sized easter ones and a six pack of small Easter cutters for a quarter each. All together I spent $1.25 and got 13 cookie cutters. I am very pleased. Especially since I have the best cut out cookie recipe - EVER. Each time I make them people rave about them. So, here is the came from Here is a hint...don't skimp on the almond extract. It is what makes the cookies. Also...under cook them by a minute or so. They will seem soft still but as they cool they harden up. I am also including the icing recipe. It is so yummy and pretty.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream
cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 8 hours, or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting, or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or colored sugar.
4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

Sugar Cookie Icing
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
assorted food coloring
1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

Yum. Yum. Yum. I keep saying I am going to bunch and mail them to people. Maybe one of these days.... last suggestion. Make a double batch on the cookies. Seriously. One batch is pretty small.

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