The BASIC Sugar Cookie recipe is great year round for every occasion. You can use it to make cut-out cookies (with cookie cutters), dye the dough any color to suite your occasion, make a sugar cookie log to freeze for later or give as a gift, or just sprinkle some sugar on top, bake and eat. This dough is very versatile so get your big THREE (butter, sugar, flour) and let’s get going.
Items to have handy:
Baking sheets, cutting board/area, extra flour to dust cutting board, parchment paper, clear plastic wrap, rolling pin, colored sugars and/or sprinkles, food coloring (optional)
¾ c. unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs, large
1 tsp. vanilla (or ½ tsp. almond extract)
2 ½ c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Combine flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
Mix It Up
Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add in eggs and vanilla. Mix again until all the ingredients are combined.
Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, one cup at a time. Blend until the flour is incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl. Repeat until all the flour is incorporated.
Remove dough and roll into a ball. Flatten like a disk. Wrap with clear plastic wrap and chill dough at least one hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly flour a cutting board or work surface.
Roll out dough 1/8” thick.
Dip 3” cookie round cutter (or desired shape) into the flour.
Using a spatula, transfer shapes to an un-greased or parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
Make sure to place cookies 1” a part. Repeat until all of the dough is used.
Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden.
Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Decorate.
SASS IT UP!
Food Coloring: Once sugar cookie dough is formed, add food coloring one to two drops at a time. On low speed, blend color thoroughly into cookie mixture. Continue to add coloring drop by drop until desired color is reached. Proceed as instructed above.
Slice and Bake – Perfect for Gift Giving! Homemade dough is a perfect for anyone/any occasion including teachers, friends, family, birthdays, holidays, Hostess gifts, play dates.
How to Make the Slice and Bake Gift
Once the dough is in the form of a ball cut it in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and return to refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Begin to roll the other half of the dough out like a Play dough worm (two hands in the center rolling back and forth gently pushing out towards the edges.
When the dough looks like a log, cover it with a piece of parchment paper slightly dusted with flour. If you have it available, use a bamboo sushi mat on top of the parchment paper. Use your hands to shape the log gently pushing from the center outwards. Roll your hands back and forth a few times until the desired shape is formed. The roll should be approximately 6” long.
Wrap the log in clear plastic wrap making sure to cover the ends. Then place a piece of parchment paper on top of a piece of decorative tissue paper. (The design side of the tissue paper should be facing down on the work surface.) Place the log on the parchment paper in the tissue paper. Start at one end and roll of log away from you in the papers until it looks like a big Tootsie Roll.
Use a decorative ribbon to tie the overhang on the ends. Place the dough inside a Ziploc and freeze until you are ready to give as a gift. To transport the cookies, place the Ziploc in a freezer bag with a cold pack until you reach a destination with a freezer.
Fancy it Up…
* Decorate a small index card with the baking instructions.
* Attach a cookie cuter for a special added touch.
* Give the dough with fancy sugar crystals from a gourmet food store.
Whether you slice and cookie log and bake or use cookie cutters, one beautiful cookie presentation is to add the colored sugars BEFORE you bake the cookies. Just choose your favorite color(s) of sugar. Sprinkle the sugar onto the raw cookie dough. Gently press the sugar into the cookie. (Wash you hands in-between different colors).
Bake. The cookies come out looking like jewels fit for a prince or princess.
Once cookies are baked, they can be stored in an airtight container, between layers of parchment or wax paper for up to one week.
If you are looking for another cookie recipe, try these tasty Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies.