Once upon a time I lived in Portland, Maine where there was a really great radio station called WCLZ. One morning, while driving to my cubicle dwelling office job, I heard the DJ announce that Minnie Driver was going to be playing a live set in “Studio Z.” Since Minnie Driver is one of my favorite actresses and I’d revered her since she packed on the pounds and shamelessly made out with Chris O’Donnell in Circle of Friends, I knew I had to figure out a way to go. Unfortunately, it was one of those sign-up online and we’ll pick 10 random winners deals. So resourceful girl that I am, I used every email address I’d ever had in my life (and maybe created a few extras) to sign up for the session — and surprise, I won a spot. I ended up missing 5 hours of work that day. Who knew Minnie would be 3 hours late…but while I was there she sang a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Hungry Heart and I really loved it. You can find it on her CD Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket.
You may be wondering how I was able to miss 5 hours of work in the middle of the day without getting into trouble? Well I attribute it at least partially to these cookies. As I’ve mentioned before, straight out of college my cooking skills were limited to things that came out of a box and the occasional Betty Crocker cake mix based cupcakes, and since I lived alone, all of my baking experiments were brought into the office to share. During the two years that I worked there, I think I made these sugar cookies for every holiday and using every conceivable shape and icing color. Sugar Cookies — the best way to make friends and influence people. Give it a go!
Hungry Heart Cookies aka Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies (Originally published on the Food Network website)
Note: Thanks to Anna D for sharing this recipe and allowing me to adopt it as my own almost 5 years ago!
1 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
In a second bowl, combine and mix well the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Stir flour into butter mixture 1 cup at a time.
Chill dough for 3 to 4 hours.
Roll out dough and cut into shapes with cookie cutters or a knife.
Bake on a sheet pan or a parchment lined sheet pan in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the cookie.
Remove cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Pretty Pretty Princess Icing
1/2 stick of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Approximately 3 cups of confectioners sugar
Approximately 1/4 cup of milk
A few drops of red food coloring
Combine everything into a bowl and mix until uniform. If the icing is too thin add more confectioners sugar, if it’s too thick add a little more milk. Ta da!