Friday, September 21, 2012

Sugar Cookies

Over the years I have been making the same sugar cookies. Everyone asks me why their cookies never come out the same.

It's possible the recipe is different as I am sure there are about a zillion variations of sugar cookie recipe out there.

I got mine from my mother and this morning I asked her I could share it since, to me, it's her recipe. Turns out she found it years ago in her search for a good recipe. She thinks it may have been a Wilton recipe, but she really isn't sure anymore.

So I shall share it with everyone here. But before I do, a few tips to get the BEST cookies out of this recipe.


- Use a high quality sugar like Domino (my fave white sugar for baking). The grain is much smaller and dissolves away much better so your cookies will be less grainy.

- Use the freshest flour you have. If you can't remember when you used it last, much less bought it, throw it out, it may have bugs. EEK!

- Always use fresh eggs. And the size in the recipe does matter. Always follow what the recipe says.

- If you have imitation Vanilla extract, throw it away and invest (and it is a good investment) in Real Vanilla Extract. Should be at least 30% alcohol. You will be dazzled in the difference. Use it in everything from cookies, cake batter, French toast, pancakes. Even kneed it into store bought cookie dough and add to box cake mix for homemade taste.

- Baking Powder DOES lose its abilities after a while, so use the flour rule for baking powder and baking soda.

- When rolling out any kind of dough for using cookie cutters, best practice is to roll out initial dough, cut cookies and set scrap dough aside until you're done cutting through it all. Then kneed all scraps back together and re-roll. This will keep the addition of more flour to the dough to a minimum and prevent it from becoming dry too quickly. If the cookies are for gifts and you don't want layers to bubble, only re-mix and re-roll twice. Or do what I do, keep all the bubble cookies for myself.

- And finally, use parchment paper on your cookie sheets, it will keep the cookies evenly browned and really saves on cleaning at the end. It is wonder paper!

Finally!!!! The recipe!

No-Chill Sugar Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp and really soft
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temp and slightly beaten just before use
1 tsp. real vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of Salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add beaten egg and vanilla until completely incorporated.

In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Add flour mixture to the butter mixture one cup at a time until incorporated. Dough should be soft and should not stick to the bowl or your hands. If it does, add more flour a little at a time.

Since this a no chill dough, roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface to desired thickness. I find something near 1/4 inch is a nice thickness for a not too crisp cookie.

Cut out cookies with desired cookie cutter and place them on your ungreased cookie sheets. Remember, parchment paper keeps cleaning to a minimum.

Bake 6 to 10 minutes depending on thickness and overall size of the cookie. You're looking for a pale cookies with a browned bottom.

When done baking, cool on sheet for a few minutes to make sure they set, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

These are completed and baked cookies I made a few weeks ago for my husband's work.

These are the same cookies after I have iced them as daisies.

I used Martha Stewart's Royal Icing recipe. It makes a lot of icing. If you plan on completely covering the cookies make it all. If only for line work like my daisies, I recommend cutting it in half. Don't add all the powdered sugar at once, do it slowly until you get the desired thickness of icing for the decorating work you want to do.

I hope you make these cookies, that the come out great and that you enjoy them above all else!

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