Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Sugar Cookies, Key West Style @LucyBurdette

Lucy and her friend Cathy
This display took second place in Key West
LUCY BURDETTE:  We get lots of advice around this time of year about cutting back and making the holidays about the important things, not what you think you should be doing.  
But one thing I’d hate to give up is baking cookies--that's important, to have something wonderfully delicious to share with family and friends. 
Last weekend we attended a wonderful party with our church friends. We all brought goodies to share and then boarded a trolley to ride around Key West (with 3d glasses) and see the lights! This recipe was my contribution.

 If I only get around to making one kind of Christmas cookies, this is the recipe I turn to. (And I was soooo excited this year to find cookie cutters at Sur la Table with a tropical theme!) This recipe always turns out well–just don’t skimp on the butter or the chilling part of the process.

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2.5 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt


Cream the softened butter and the sugar. 

Then beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt, then mix with butter/egg/sugar mixture. Chill dough for 3 hours (or overnight, if you'd prefer to bake and decorate the next day.) 

Preheat over to 350. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface, dip cutters into flour before each use. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 ” or until lightly browned. Let cool, and then frost.

Creamy vanilla frosting: mix 3 cups powdered sugar with 1/3 c butter, softened. Stir in 1.5 tsp vanilla and about 2 tablespoons milk. Beat until spreadable, and then add color and sprinkles as desired. 

Have fun with decorating–my favorite this year are the palm trees and the sunglasses. But I love the chicken too, though my artwork is a little sketchy:). (In case you don't know, Key West is overrun with chickens--and it's illegal to harm one!

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out on February 4, but you can pre-order it now.

Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest! She loves it when you pin her stuff:) 

PS If you're still looking for stocking stuffers, I had a ton of fun putting together a Pinterest board called "Mystery books as stocking stuffers." Lots of good ideas there!


  1. You can't go wrong with the basics! Or butter--sugar cookies just aren't as crisp without it. They look lovely.

    I'm still wondering if I should have bought the entire set of barnyard cookie cutters in Dublin (I did get the tractor and a cow). Hmm...telling a story in cookies. There might be an idea in there.

  2. Love your tropical Christmas! And I know what you mean about chilling time with a buttery dough!

    I have a question, though. If Key West is overrun by chickens, are there eggs everywhere?


  3. Lucy/Roberta - I LOVE these cookies! Your culinary wit has me smiling from ear-to-ear this morning, thank you! Personally, I would go for the sunglasses and palm trees, but that's just me. I know my husband--Marc would go for whatever cookie was loaded with the most frosting. :)

    On a more serious note, I think you're absolutely right about the holidays--making them about what's important--and I think most of us know it doesn't come in a box or a bag. It doesn't have a price tag.

    XOXO and Merry Key West Christmas to you!
    ~ Cleo

  4. Lucy, I love the tropical themed cookie cutters. How fun. And the drive through the lights? We have a street in the Valley (in Los Angeles) that is filled with lights. Most of the neighbors are good sports about it. After all, they bought into the area knowing about the lights.

    Merry, merry.
    Daryl / Avery

  5. These are adorable! I think I will use your recipe for my sugar cookies this year.

  6. This is such a fun post! I don't think I can live without 3-D glasses and chickens. See what you've done, Roberta/Lucy?

    Christmas in Key West, what's not to love?



    1. You're right. but I feel the same way about your group of writing girlfriends and the chocolate cake:)