The Sugar Cookie Bake-Off

Boy, thanks for all the Advent Calendar Love!  I love this time of year — it’s so fun seeing what everyone is working on.  There have been a ton of advent calendars online and it’s been very inspiring to see them all.  I’m ready to make a new one!

This is also the time of year when all the Christmas goodies come out.  We had so much fun in October when we had our Chili Cook-Off that we decided we should continue the tradition.  This time, with Christmas so close, I thought it would be fun to try different cut-out sugar cookie recipes.  MeMum has had a wonderful recipe that we’ve made every year since I’ve been a little girl, but I’ve seen so many other recipes out there and I’ve always wondered how they stack up.

Sugar Cookies

The instructions were to come to the party with the dough already prepared. Then we would cut-out, bake and decorate all together. We had six different “teams”, therefore, six “recipes”.

Team 1: Moi. I tried the recipe from Cookie Craft with their royal icing recipe because their cookies are so pretty. Their recipe had no baking powder or baking soda which helped these cookies do the best job of maintaining their shape. With the royal icing, I suspected these cookies wouldn’t taste very good and I was right — cardboard has more flavor.   Blech.

Sugar Cookies

Team 2: MeMum. She used our tried and true recipe. It has a hint of lemon. She had a little trouble with the dough this year though.

Sugar Cookies

Team 3: MyDadLovesMeBestSister. Her recipe contained cream cheese. I love cream cheese and I’ve always figured if a sugar cookie had cream cheese in it, you couldn’t go wrong.

Sugar Cookies

Team 4: My nephew and TheFirstChild.  They totally cheated and brought a roll of  Pillsbury Sugar Cookies and canned frosting.  Boys. Men!

Sugar Cookies

Team 5: CrazyBIL. I think he got his recipe from his mom — it was for a soft sugar cookie. He had a little mishap, in that he added a little too much lemon to his frosting. I personally loved it, but it was too tart for most everyone else.

Sugar Cookies

Team 6:  My two nieces and SweetiePie.  They tried a recipe containing buttermilk.  Aren’t their cookies cute?

Sugar Cookies

After the cookies were all made, I convinced everyone to have a blind taste test.  They weren’t so sure, but I reasoned that you also taste with your eyes, so it was the only fair way.  This part was lots of fun — you should have seen the faces when that sour lemon cookie hit their tongues!

Sugar Cookies

So, who won?  Well, in theory:

Sugar Cookies

Gag Me.

I have two words: Chemical.  Aftertaste.  I think this cookie won because of the frosting.  The rest of us pretty much fell down in the frosting department because we were concentrating on the cookie dough so much.  MeMum’s cookie and the buttermilk cookie came screaming into second place.  They both have great potential.  I thought the cream cheese recipe was pretty disappointing.  And way at the back of the pack were the lemon and cardboard cookies.   Cardboard was dead last.  Let that be a lesson to you — don’t judge a cookie by it’s cover.

Of course, now that the contest is over, I’ve seen several new recipes that I want to try, so there will be more experimenting.  It’s just too bad they can’t all be tried at once!  Oh, and we’ll be looking for more bake/cook-off ideas after the new year — any suggestions?

XOXO,
Anna

59 Thoughts on “The Sugar Cookie Bake-Off

  1. That sounds like the makings of a very fun afternoon!

    By the way, your cookie cane banner is adorable – what a clever idea!

  2. I’mfirstI’mfirstI’mfirst!!!

    Oooh! LOVE the new header. I love the taste-testing. I’ve always wanted to have a taste-test party where assignments were handed out so you’d end up with Coke and Pepsi, Ruffles and Lays, etc. I’m glad to hear the family recipe was close to the top!

  3. Oh man, I was this close.

  4. Of course, obviously I meant candy cane. Whoever heard of a cookie cane? It’s too early for me …

  5. That sounds like so much fun! And the banner is great!! I want to come and take part next year!

  6. Wow, I can’t believe that Pillsbury won. I also imagine they were much sweeter too?

  7. cook-keeeeeee! nom nom nom… with love from an Aussie Cookie Monster xxx

  8. What great fun. The winner was obviously a fluke!

  9. You should do a cupcake bakeoff. I always wonder if people really prefer the box mix to a from scratch cupcake.

  10. What fun! That is too funny that the dough in the roll won! Love your new header!

  11. My mom has always used a recipe from an early Betty Crocker cookbook that we all love:
    http://www.recipezaar.com/Betty-Crockers-Sugar-Cookies-for-Boys-and-Girls-181269

  12. firstly, I just love the new header and spots – very festive …. sounds like you all had great fun . I think we are gonna make gingerbread creatures tomorrow , first attempt so fingers crossed

  13. Pillsbury – ha ha ha!!! my sister SWEARS by the Dough Boy’s sugar cookies! bleck!!!

  14. NyDadLovesMeBestSister on December 4, 2009 at 11:02 am said:

    Don’t tell anyone – but, I just found the cream cheese in the fridge last night! I forgot to put it in!!! I guess we will have to do this bake off all over!! Admit it though- my frosting was the best!

  15. Oh no, no, no, say it is not so xoxoxox Clarice

  16. What a fantastic header Anna!!! Sooooo creative!! Love it! I also REALLY enjoyed your post!! What a fun idea for a party!! Love the photos of each team… such a nice addition! What a great mini album this would make!! Do you scrap?? If not I would be happy to make one for you!!
    Joni

  17. Awllll what a fun family you have! Makes me wish we lived closer to ours so we could do similar things with…they are in KY and we are 16 hours away in TX

    I guess that means I need to start NOW brainwashing my kids that they can never grow up and move away from me! LOL Oldest is 5 and twins are 2… so maybe I can start conditioning them… ;)

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  18. Love the new header and spots!

    What a fun afternoon you all must have had! :o)

  19. What fun! I want to try them all. And your Advent pennie pockets are ADORABLE!! Well done sister. They are gorgeous, the crocheted edging is killing me. KILLING ME. xoxoxo

  20. Oh, maybe you need another tester ther. Hey, send me a few and I’ll unselfishly give up my time and tastebuds. I LOVE sugar cookies! Okay, nevermind sending me some, I will rate from a distance. I choose extra lemon frosting with the crispest cookies around. Yum – nothing says lovin’…

  21. Does the fun ever stop at your place?!!
    Tell me you are still doing the gingerbread houses. I absolutely LOVE the new banner and all the red…the red could stay.

  22. Fun, fun, fun!

    My grandmother has an amazing sugar cookie recipe, which was her grandmother’s. I made sure to copy it a few years back, but I haven’t tried it yet–not while Grammie still makes them every year. She also makes a wreath cookie, and the recipe calls for cream cheese. Both are delish.

    Love the Christmas blog look!

    XO

  23. Love your blog update, Anna. Very festive.

    As for the bake off winner…NO WAY!! I’m vurping as I type. The cookie from the tube always makes me feel yucky. I must confess though that Mr. Handsome will “whip up” a batch of Toll House using “the tube”. I think they are gross, but the girls LOVE them. They eat them hot off the pan. They think he makes the best cookies ever. PLEEEASE…

    PS–The chili I made from your recipe did not win the chili contest, but it was definitely the fan favorite. My crock was the first one empty. There’s some satisfaction in that!

  24. What good fun!

    BTW love the new banner! So festive.

  25. What a great family get together activity. I loved it. It’s too funny that the dough boys won!! LOL! Who would’ve thought?

    I have my favorite recipe that I’ll email to you. It’s really a good one.

  26. My mother made cookies last Christmas that we all enjoyed. She said they were her special recipe. I called her for the recipe later and she confessed that they were Betty’s out of the bag. I couldn’t believe my sweet mother had pulled one over on us! They are now a staple in my pantry. With some fancy icing, we like them for a quick cookie.

    Love the new header!

  27. What fun! Sorry your cookie didn’t win – it sure was pretty, though.
    I wish I had family to do this with. But it’s just me, Mr. P and the OnlyChild so it wouldn’t go. They’re both too lazy to get into cookie baking. Their idea of a good cookie is one made by me… or out of a package. bleah.

  28. oh wow I love your new festive layout! sigh why do I have no talent in that department!

    love the cookie bakeoff piccies! soooo cute!!!!!

    yum! I just told keira I’m making cookies tonight as we put up the tree…a little late as its up in the attic and daddy was away this week and there was no way I was putting my head in that attic and come out with cobwebs!!!!!

    yay for spreading the christmas cheer on your blog!
    Corrie:)

  29. Oh my gosh, the cookie bake-off sounds like so much fun. How funny that the Pillsbury won. And how in the world did you get boys to participate?

    Love the new header and background!

  30. I’m loving the festive blog makeover! I am in the mood for making buiscits now :-)

  31. I love your new header, very clever. Your family have so much fun with these contests, have you had a pie contest yet?

  32. I love your festive look Anna…I’m suggesting a pie contest as well. Now you have put me in the mood to do my holiday baking :)

  33. Oh what fun! And I love the new christmassy look! Lucy xxxxx

  34. Your banner is spectacular!!!
    :stands all amazed
    and I love the dottie background.
    Okay, um, next time there is a cookie contest in town, ask your blogbuddies first so the Pillsbury cookie dough doesn’t win!
    Since you live in the midwest, you should have a gross casserole contest. hahahaha.
    :waves madly

  35. You and your family always do the neatest things. I love it!! What great picture and now you make me wanna whip out some sugar cookies. They are my all time favorites. I just found a new recipe in Better Homes and Gardens I think it was. I’m gonna give it a try.
    Happy Cookie Making!!

  36. Forgot to say………….I am LOVING your new blog look. The candy canes, your name and of course those red polka dots. Very very cute!!!

  37. Love all your cookie fun Anna, we like sugar cookies at our house too. Our favorite recipe uses confectioners sugar and a hint of almond in the batter. Your new banner and background look so pretty, great choice!!

  38. Your new blog header and outfit are awsome! And the cookie funis great!

  39. Wow, after reading the whole story I am starting to crave sugar cookies…I can almost smell the dough. I love sugar cookies with a hint of lemon in it but have never been very good at the decorating part. My best success ever was when I purchased a Mrs. Fields sugar cookie kit from the freezer section of my grocery store many moons ago. I regret to say I haven’t seen it since. Love the new banner! You are so talented! Thanks for the fun visit!

  40. My goodness! It looks so festive here! A few years ago I found a yummy recipe for cut out cookies. Trouble is it’s very persnickety dough; has to be kept cold; can be rolled only in small batches…..but melt in your mouth yumminess! Will put it on the kitchen blog soon. No fair that Pillsbury won—the shame of it all. But your bake-off sounds like such fun! I’m thinking we’ll copy you here and have a gingerbread house decorating contest……..Stay tuned!

  41. Sister – your family just has the most fun. What a great way to spend time together and I’m guessing lots of laughs are involved. Hey I love your new banner – the things you can do with thimbles :). Hey not sure how I missed the advent cones – DANG IT – ADORABLE – your creative mo jo is flowing sweet pea :)

    Hugs – Mrs. Farmhouse

  42. Anna,
    You do the best things with your family- my god daughters made sugar cookies yesterday- the oldest one read the recipe wrong and add a pound of butter as she was doubling the recipe- It was suppose to have one cup of butter instead of two cups – they were indeed buttery…

    My mom doesn’t make sugar cookies – she makes shortbread and whipped shortbread . They are delicious. There are so many fantastic recipes to try at this time of year.
    Happy baking and quilting.
    I hope that you have a terrific holiday season with you and yours.
    Regards,
    Anna

  43. Dear Anna,

    I’ve been a little behind in my blog writing and reading, but I’ve got to say, I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new banner with the red and white polka dots!

    S.W.A.K.

  44. Oh it looks so fun. And I am just loving this dotty background. Oh, back to my comment….YOU make me laugh. But it does looks like you had fun. I bet those boys didn’t let anyone forget that their cookies won. HA.

  45. Caroline on December 7, 2009 at 12:18 am said:

    You’ve totally put me in the holiday spirit. I haven’t started baking cookies yet, but I’m going out to the kitchen to start a batch right now. I’m sad to believe your winner, but I’ve hardly ever made really good tasting cut-out cookies, so I think I agree with it.

  46. I have a great sugar cookie recipe that calls for ricotta cheese. Do you read Susan Wiggs’ books? One of her novels had recipes throughout the story and that’s where I found this one. I’ll send it to you. Soft puffy goodness!

  47. I’m always sure not to judge a cookie by it’s cover…
    I agree with you about the Pillsbury cookies–the weird aftertaste overwhelms–blech.

    But what a wonderfully fun family event!

  48. Ooh…do a Sweetheart Bake-off for Valentine’s! Maybe you can do a virtual challenge and have others host their own in different cities? I would probably be up for that! ;) D

    Looks like a great time!

  49. Love your header! As a matter of fact, that thimbles looks an awful lot like the one I lost, or would that be that the Sprites took! Hum… if the bottom edge was gold, I’d be claiming it as mine! lol

    What a great idea to have a sugar cookie bake off! I am dissapointed on the winner. Commercial cookie dough gives me hearburn, so I stay away from them like the plague! It give me a good reason to make my own! ;o) Cheers!

  50. That is just WRONG! Every well-brought-up girl KNOWS that homemade coookies taste best. I think there must have been a flaw of some kind in the taste test. :)

  51. What fun! I use a really old recipe from the days when baking powder wasn’t commonly used and the cookies come out very tender but they do spread a bit.

    1 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla (or a bit of almond or lemon flavouring)
    2 1/2 cups flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp cream of tartar
    dash of nutmeg (I leave this out)

    Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine flour, salt, soda and cream of tartar and add to butter mixture forming a soft dough. Divide into two balls and flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Roll out, cut into shapes and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until golden at the edges.

    This is the only one I ever make and it’s very popular.

  52. Catching up on my blog reading… what FUN Anna! Even though your cookies tasted like cardboard, they were VERY nicely decorated!

  53. You guys are so funny. I love the candy canes with the thimbles!

  54. How funny that the silly tube of dough won. I don’t make cut-out sugar cookies. When my kids were small I tried. I really did. With visions of a long ago kitchen all homey and warm and happy faces eagerly waiting to sprinkle sugar and arrange tiny candies on their creations, I would make a batch of dough, roll it out and call the kids to come and cut out their cookies and decorate them. After cries of “Why do we have to do this?” year after year, I gave up. Now? I slap a tube of dough on the counter and tell them if they want sugar cookies, they can slice and bake them themselves. ;) Life is so much easier.

  55. that is to funny Anna! I guess frosting is pretty important though, but seriosly? pillsbury? that’s just totally wrong!

  56. This looks like it was a fun bake off. I’m disappointed to see that Pillsbury won, but oh well. That’ll teach ya to fuss over sugar cookies.

    Love the peppermint thimbles, Anna.

    Jody

  57. HA! NO! The roll of premade dough won?!

    TooTOOtoo funny.

    I’m OK blaming it on the frosting.

  58. how fun!!! i so want to be part of your family. you guys do the most fun activities together. how hilarious that the pre-made dough won the taste test.

  59. I like such kind of weblog

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