We have just celebrated Thanksgiving and Halloween is around the corner. Before you know it
the Holiday Season will be upon us.
Over the next couple of months I plan to share some cookie decorating ideas with you so I thought I'd better start with sharing my favourite sugar cookie recipe first! I have been using this recipe for so long that I'm not sure where it originated from. It may have been from my grandmother's collection or it could be one that involved me tweaking a perfectly good recipe I found to suit me, lol. However it is, this is the only recipe I use...and I have tried many. It is delicious both plain or with icing.
This recipe will make a couple dozen. How many you get will vary depending on the size of cutter you are using. You can easily double it to make several dozen for a party or bake sale...or if you are just
craving a little sugar :)
WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 lb butter (227 g - half a block of butter) softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- plastic wrap
- freezer bag if desired
- a little extra flour for rolling later
- a rolling pin
- cookie cutters
- parchment paper
- cookie sheet(s)
- spatula for lifting the cookies
- a little muscle power :)
MAKE THE DOUGH
- Combine the butter and sugar in the stand mixer. Using the paddle, mix well until soft and uniform.
- Add vanilla and eggs - one at a time. On high speed, beat until light and fluffy - like restaurant butter.
- Now, with your mixer on low speed, add flour - one cup at a time. Each cup you add should be fully incorporated before adding the next cup. Your machine will be really working at this point. I use the Kitchen Aid Artisan 5 Quart mixer. It's the workhorse of my kitchen and it can handle this no problem.
- At this point, you want to lay a piece of plastic wrap out on the counter and scoop your cookie mixture out onto it. Wrap the cookie dough fairly tight. I like to then put the wrapped dough into a freezer bag, pushing out the air and sealing it. But you can just wrap it again with plastic wrap.
- Place wrapped cookie dough into the refrigerator for several hours. If I know I will be making sugar cookies, I like to make the dough the night before so it can chill overnight. Ready to go in the morning.
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Cut your dough in half. Keep the half you are not using covered or re-wrap.
- Dust your surface with a little flour and knead the dough slightly.
- Roll your dough out keeping it smooth and even. You may need to flour your rolling pin a little as well.
- Now use your cookie cutter and make the cookie shapes! Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Leave space between the cookies. they will spread a little but not much.
I like to transfer the cookies right away to a cooling rack so they don't stick. Carefully slide the spatula (preferably a thin metal one) under the cookie being careful not to break them! Let cool COMPLETE.Y.
I prefer that they sit for at least a few hours before decorating with royal icing or rolling on some fondant.
TIP To make it easier, you can roll out your dough and cut with cutters right on top of a piece of parchment paper cut to the size of your cookie sheet. Instead of lifting the cookies to the sheet, just lift the scrap dough leaving the cookie shapes on the paper. Lift the prepared parchment to the cookie sheet to bake. You can then prepare the next batch while the first one is baking. No wasted time!
Continue on with the other half of the dough, adding in the scrap pieces until you have used it all up.
What to do with that piece at the end that's too small to use a cutter on? Squish it into a ball and flatten - bake it. It can be your 'test cookie'. Lol...why not!