It’s officially the holiday season, friends! That means there are only 23 days left until the big guy comes. And if there is one thing we all love during the holidays, besides mom’s spiked eggnog, it’s cookies!! They make the perfect gift, are an essential part of the menu at your annual tacky Christmas party and of course let’s not forget Santa. This year we decided to do a little experiment and compare side by side a tried and true family recipe vs. ready-made sugar cookie dough we grabbed at Martin’s! Our own little sugar cookie showdown.
First thing we had to do before our sugar cookie showdown could begin was head to our local Martin’s to pick up all of the ingredients! In our Thanksgiving post, we mentioned a $5.00 coupon for new online registrants and good news, that offer is still valid! You can sign up here to receive $5.00 off your next online purchase from Martin’s.
We grabbed our flour, sugar and decorating goodies for our homemade cookies!
Then sauntered over to the refrigerated section for a tube of ready-made sugar cookie dough.
First up, we went to work on Old Fashion Ice Box Cookies!
Old Fashioned Ice Box Cookies
This recipe was taken from an old cook book that was put together as part of a school fundraiser in the late 80’s. This recipe was actually handed down to the contributor by her grandmother so it has been around a while and is definitely tried and true!! Erica and her mother have been making Christmas cookies using this recipe since she was a little girl and today we will share this tradition with all of you!
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1. Cream together butter and eggs.
2. Add sugar and mix well.
3. Sift rest of dry ingredients and mix all together with your hands.
4. Divide into two to three sections and shape into balls. Place into separate bowls covering with cling wrap and place into fridge overnight to chill.
5. The next day, preheat over to 375 degree F.
6. Dust clean countertop with flour (as well as rolling pin), then roll out dough, cut into your favorite shapes and bake for 5-7 minutes (until brown around the edges).
7. Let cool and decorate!
With our dough pre-made and chilled overnight, we rolled it out and whipped out the cookie cutters.
Then we popped them in the oven for 5-6 minutes!
Once the cookies had cooled, we started working on our icing!
Food Coloring (optional)
1. Start with 1 cup powdered sugar in a bowl.
2. Add 1 Tbsp milk and mix together until blended.
3. Continue to add milk or powdered sugar until thick pasty consistency is achieved.
We had every intention of using food coloring for red and green icing, but there was a small catastrophe that left us with green hands and a confectioner sugar explosion. So, white icing only for us!
With our ice box cookies finished, we started on our ready-made sugar cookie dough.
The ready-made dough is best if rolled into smooth balls, for perfectly round cookies! Then you can add a few nuts or sprinkles before baking!
Since the ready-made dough is a little on the sweet side, we suggest skipping the icing and just enjoying their delicious flavor with a few sprinkles!
Both varieties were fantastic! Of course, the homemade version did require a little extra time, dishes and love but they have the perfect amount of sweetness for icing and decorating. The store bought dough tasted great on its own and didn’t require a lot of time or mess. But, we weren’t able to cut it into shapes or ice them, unless you prefer a super sweet cookie! At the end of the day, a cookie is a cookie and whether you’re short on time and baking skills or if you’re a pro, you can make some great holiday cookies with Martin’s!
Our tiny taste testers approved!
Do you have any Holiday traditions that include cookies? Do you use a family recipe or do you prefer to grab time saving pre-made dough?
– Brooke & Erica