Over the past two weeks, I baked nearly 500 sugar cookies. Most of the cookies were for my good friend KB's wedding favors (baked with assistance from CF), and the rest were for Halloween. As you can imagine, the process was rather laborious, and I'd prefer not to see another sugar cookie for several months (actually, I could probably eat one right now. I have a weakness when it comes to cookies).
I always use a basic sugar cookie recipe from All Recipes, and it's the best I've ever found. The dough is great for rolling out and using cutouts, and (as long as you're careful with your timer), the cookies bake to perfection. They're never dry and not overly sweet. I prefer to top mine with colored sugar or jimmies (aka sprinkles for the out-of-towners) before baking, but these are good when topped with icing as well.
The crazies at my work went nuts over them, and I even got a few phone calls requesting the recipe. So if any HCG readers are in need of a good sugar cookie recipe, here you go:
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
If you decide to give these a shot, here are a few things you'll need:
- Patience. The process of making and chilling the dough, rolling it out, baking the cookies and then cooling them (and decorating if you choose to do that after) takes FOREVER. Set aside a significant amount of time.
- A good wooden rolling pin. CF and I used a wooden rolling pin and plastic one, and the plastic one was a complete piece of crap. If you don't have a good wooden rolling pin, you should consider picking one up. It's a cheap investment that is essential for working with any type of dough.
- Parchment paper. As I mentioned, I sprinkle a significant amount of colored sugar on the cookies I bake. The excess sugar around the cookie will bake on your cookie sheet and practically ruin it. Use parchment paper to prevent this destruction. (Side note to CF: I had to throw out one of your old cookie sheets. It couldn't be salvaged).
- Lots of flour. Anyone who has worked with dough before knows that it's critical to practically cover your workspace with flour to prevent the dough from sticking when you roll it out. Keep some extra flour handy to sprinkle on your rolling pin as well.
- An apron. Believe me, the sugar and flour gets everywhere. HCG always finds super cute aprons on sale at Anthropologie.
Finally, I froze all of my cookies, and they defrosted beautifully. No one guessed that they had been frozen. To freeze your cookies, simply double wrap them in plastic wrap after they have cooled completely.
Acknowledgment: I would like to thank my awesome sister Christine for her assistance in baking KB's cookies. It was super fun even though she yelled at me for being bossy and "telling people what do to all the time". Many thanks to Joe and my friends Jen (Ski) and Hilary (HAF) for their assistance in packaging KB's favors last night :)