In the space of about a month/month and a half I went from having no idea how to decorate sugar cookies, to feeling a need to decorate ALL cookies. So much so that my feelings could only be adequately expressed by taking a well known meme and making it about cookies (and if you haven’t visited the blog this meme original comes from, it’s amazing!!). Seriously, I’ve spent most of my “baking brain-storming” time pondering new sugar cookie designs. And the fact that I seriously need to expand my cookie cutter collection (you know, beyond one cookie cutter). However, I noticed most of my posts about sugar cookies are rather lengthy because I explain every step of the process, from cookie baking to the finishing touches. So rather than writing a short novel every time, I thought I’d streamline the process by creating a separate post for my (current) favorite sugar cookie recipe.
Simply Sugar Cookies
Yields approximately 2 dozen sugar cookies
2 stick (226 grams) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Start by lining your baking sheets with parchment paper. I like to pre-cut all of the parchment paper I’m going to need (usually about 4 sheets) so I can continue to cut out cookies even when both my baking sheets are in use. That way, when a baking sheet becomes available, all I have to do is line up my baking sheet with the counter and slide the parchment paper, cookies and all, onto the available sheet.
In a large bowl, cream the butter. Make sure to get out as many lumps as possible before adding the shortening. Add the shortening and cream the two together until a smooth, creamy mixture forms. Add the granulated sugar. Mix the sugar, butter, and shortening until the mixture becomes small, sugary lumps. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and baking powder, mixing until all ingredients are well combined. One cup at a time, add the flour, mixing between each new addition. At this point, the dough should be dry enough to pull cleanly away from your fingers, but not so dry that it can’t be kneaded into one large mass. 2 1/2 cups shouldn’t be enough to over dry the dough, but it may not be enough to firm it up and keep it from being sticky. If this is the case, continue to add flour in 1/4 cup increments until the proper consistency is reached. Chill for about 20-40 minutes until the dough is firm.
Knead the dough into a single ball, and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface. I like to do this on a large sheet of pinned down parchment paper to make the clean up a little easier. Roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch thick and cut out the dough. I suggest using a lightly floured spatula to transfer your cookies to the paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius) for 8-10 minutes of until the cookies are no longer shiny on top. This recipe is made to produce almost white sugar cookies and, consequently, they don’t taste as good when browned. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a cooling rack.
Recipe adapted from Make Bake Celebrate