Sugar cookies are a wonderful light tasting treat. They pair well with tea, coffee and for the kids, a big glass of milk. Ice them or leave them plain. The choice is yours. Play with fun cookie cutter shapes. There are hundreds of possibilities out there for you to explore!
These sugar cookies, once cut and baked, will last for several weeks when stored in an air tight container.
I usually ice my cookies with royal icing but I loved the simplicity of these flower cutouts. I used a dusting of icing sugar on my work surface as well as on top of the cookies before rolling out. It makes rolling 100% easier as it reduces sticking which tends to be the most difficult challenge when dealing with this type of dough because YES, it will stick to waxed paper too. What I really love though is how the icing sugar creates a shiny glaze on the baked cookies. Perfect for cookies that will be eaten as-is, fresh out of the oven.
I added the scraping of one vanilla bean to the dough. I love the flavor it adds and also the small specks of vanilla really enhance the appearance.
Making these cookies does take awhile because of the chilling phase required before baking so be prepared for playing a little bit of the waiting game.
Also, do not OVERMIX! I cannot emphasize this enough. You do not need to cream together the butter and sugar as you would a cake because the longer you cream, the more tiny bubbles are created. Its these bubbles which give cakes height. The opposite of what you want. You want a thin and crispy cookie!
Lastly, when rolling the dough do not go back and forth with the rolling pin. You can easily overwork the dough resulting in one tough cookie. To roll, simply place your rolling pin in the middle of the dough and roll outwards: forward motions from center outward and backward motions from center inward. Rotate the dough when needed to roll out the sides, again starting from the center at all times.
LET'S GET STARTED
* source recipe adapted from Sweetopia
WHAT YOU NEED
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup fine granulated sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
scrapings from one vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
icing sugar for rolling
IN LARGE BOWL, cream together butter and sugar on MED speed for no more than 1 minute.
ADD egg and mix only until combined
ADD vanilla bean and vanilla extract, mixing until blended
SIFT in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt
MIX on low speed until the dough starts to form together; no longer than 45 seconds
PLACE piece of waxed paper on work surface
DUST it with icing sugar
PAT out dough into a disc and place on waxed paper
SPRINKLE lightly with icing sugar
PLACE another piece of waxed paper on top of dough
ROLL out dough between the waxed paper to 1/4" thickness
PLACE cookie dough, still in waxed paper, onto a cookie sheet and let sit in refrigerator for 1-2 hrs
PREHEAT OVEN 350F
LINE 2 cookie sheets with waxed paper
TAKE COOKIE dough out of fridge and place back, still in waxed paper, onto work surface
REMOVE TOP LAYER of waxed paper
DIP cookie cutter edges lightly into icing sugar
CUT out desired shapes and with a hard edged spatula, lift and place on cookie sheets
BAKE 8 -10 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown
ALLOW to cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then gently remove with spatula and place on cooling rack.
ALLOW to cool completely (approx. 30 minutes)