The holiday classic: sugar cookies. Cut out and decorated in bright colors and sprinkles. It seemed a fitting end to the 12 days of cookies.
That’s right, it’s Day 12. Finally. Well, I guess technically it is Cookie 12 and day 17. Not quite what I had intended when I started the 12 days of cookies but you know, life happens.
Now, before you get to the rest of this post let me preemptively answer one question:
No, I don’t have too much time on my hands.
Don’t believe me? Just look at how messy the icing job is. If I had too much time, that icing would be perfect.
Okay, now that that is out of the way, I give you:
Sugar Cookies in Love.
and so they got married…
And they lived happily ever after…
until Dan ate them.
(adapted from Good Housekeeping Baking)
Good Housekeeping Baking calls these Ultimate Sugar Cookies, and after tasting them I’d have to agree. Not too dry and not too chewy, these cookies are sweet without leaving you feeling as if you ate half the sugar bowl.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies (with 3-4 inch cookie cutters)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (do not use margarine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- With a mixer at low speed, beat butter and sugar until blended. Increase the mixer speed to high; beat until light and creamy, about 5 minutes [I had my KichenAid on 3-4 speed for about 3 minutes before it looked light and creamy].
- Beat in eggs and vanilla until mixed.
- Gradually add flour mixture just until mixed, scraping the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula.
- Divide the dough into 4 balls, flatten each slightly. Wrap each flattened ball in wax or parchment paper and refrigerate overnight, until firm enough to roll. [I wrapped mine in parchment then put all 4 of the wrapped balls into a large ziploc bag. I doubt the ziploc is necessary though.]
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove one ball of dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of dough to about 1/4 inch thick. [Make sure there is flour under the dough. I didn't have enough flour under mine and it stuck when I tried to pick up the cut pieces.].
- Cut dough into as many cookies as possible using your cutter(s) of choice. [If you are using largely varying sizes, group the small ones on one cookie sheet and the large ones on another. The small ones will bake a little faster.]
- Place cookies about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet [or on a silpat lined cookie sheet].
- Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden around edges. Using a wide spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
- Repeat steps 7-10 with remaining dough.
- If you don’t plan to ice or frost the cookies, sprinkle them with sugar (colored or not) before baking.
- I’m still figuring out the whole icing thing. When I have a good recipe and technique for it, I will share it. I can’t quite figure out the right consistency. I get either too thick or too runny. One of these days I’ll get it just right. As for these cookies, I used a butter knife to spread the icing onto the cookies… which made them (and me) a little sloppy. But they still tasted good…