There are hundreds, if not thousands of recipes and posts for sugar cookies online. I usually don’t post the obvious recipes but in my quest to provide all of my go-to recipes for family and friends, sugar cookies must make their presence known. This post is to prevent future blank looks and allow me to say “It’s in my blog”.
This was the year I decorated sugar cookies. I hadn’t done that since Valentine’s Day a few years ago with granddaughter Bella. We made some wonderful cornmeal sugar cookies that I’ve not remembered to make again. I must soon. But I wanted regular sugar cookies this time. My P.S. is a huge fan of them and I had plenty of time to decorate this year.
I tried a new recipe that was a simple butter sugar cookie. It mixed up fast and needed to chill awhile in the fridge before rolling and cutting.
I mixed the butter and sugar in a large bowl until they were fluffy.
The eggs, vanilla and almond extract were beaten in next. I’m not an almond fan so I used just a couple of drops, not the entire teaspoon. You could add more or less depending on your taste.
Into a separate bowl I mixed the flour, baking powder and salt, then slowly beat it into the egg and sugar mixture, adding about ¼ at a time. At this point I wondered why in the world I hadn’t just used my stand mixer. I forget to do that! But it was easy enough using a regular electric mixer.
When the dough was well mixed and the mixer was bogging down and threatening to quit working the dough was easy to roll into a ball.
I covered the ball with plastic and refrigerated it for the requisite hour. No I’ll admit I left it in there for 2 hours. Dinner intervened so it was awhile before I got back to it.
No problem though. I rolled half the dough out on my silicone mat with a little flour. I cut out my shapes and placed them one by one onto parchment covered baking sheets.
After 15 minutes more refrigeration I put the sheet into the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes, watching to make sure the edges weren’t getting browned. Sugar cookies should be pretty!
I let the cookies cool on racks and set them into a container until I was ready to decorate.
I mixed up a recipe of royal icing, colored it and decorated my Santa’s helpers and Christmas trees. I used mini chocolate chips for eyes and sprinkled colored sugar on the tree garlands.
1 cup unsalted butter; room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs; room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and almond extract.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to sugar mixture, ¼ at a time beating until smooth. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with assorted cookie cutters and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Chill dough for 15 minutes.
Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are beginning to brown. Mine were beginning at 12 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Yield: about 60 cookies
Adapted from The Purple Spoon
3 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
4 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients in a stand mixer for 7-10 minutes at low speed until icing forms peaks.
Tip: make sure all utensils are grease free before mixing.
For stiffer icing or when using a stand mixer, use 1 tablespoon less water
To thin: use 1 teaspoon water per cup of icing