The Recipe: How is it special? Great sugar-cookie taste, golden color and texture! No need to chill the dough before rolling! Easy-to-handle dough! Rolled in powdered sugar, not flour, so no floury after-taste! Mix and bake an entire batch in just an hour, start to finish! Best of all? The big smiles that happen whenever sugar cookies appear!
The Conversation: Will you help me wish my dear father a happy 88th birthday?
"At last! A no-chill roll-out cookie that is great!! ... worked perfectly!" ~ Carole
In my family, we sing for birthdays, loudly and some times out of tune, mind you, but always enthusiastically.
Today my father will collect happy-birthday singing telegrams from across the country, all of us wishing him well on this his 88th birthday.
I can’t bake you a cake, Dad. But I sure can bake you Happy Birthday cookies. So hey, watch the front door because guess what FedEx is delivering today!
Happy Birthday, Dad!
My new tradition is all of three months old, baking “happy birthday cookies” for anyone within baking range. So far that’s meant 9s and 0s for a ninety-year old, 1s and 2s for a twelve-year old, 5s for five-year old twins and today, 8s for my father. It’s fun and produces big smiles from all ages, especially once the numeric significance hits.
BAKING FOR GOOD CAUSES If you love to bake, you just might want to gather friends for a "bake off" for a good cause. Check into Drop In & Decorate, founded by my friend and fellow food writer Lydia Walshin from http://www.theperfectpantry.com and Cookies for Kids' Cancer.
CUTOUT SUGAR COOKIES
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes about 30 large cookies or 42 medium cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks/8 ounces/227g) salted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 375g
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- Powdered sugar, for rolling
Heat oven to 350F. Cover heavy baking sheets with parchment.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed. Add the sugar, vanilla and almond extract and combine well, scraping the sides a time or two. Add the egg and combine well, again scraping the sides.
Separately, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt, then add to the mixer.
Starting on low speed, mix until the dough begins to gather itself into a ball. Gather the dough into two compact discs. Set one aside.
Sprinkle a clean work surface and the dough disc with powdered sugar. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough evenly about ¼-inch thick. Press cookie cutter(s) into the dough, leaving the cookies in place unless they happen to lift out when removing the cookie cutter. With an offset spatula, pull away all the scrap pieces, pile together on the side, then lift cookies onto the baking sheet, leaving room between for spreading.
Roll out and cut the second disc, collecting the scraps on the side.
Bake the “dough rolled once” cookies for 10 – 14 minutes (12 minutes is perfect in my oven) until edges and bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely.
Collect the scraps and roll out until the dough is gone. The “dough rolled twice or more” cookies take less time to bake (in my oven, only 10 minutes).
Now get creative! Frosting recipe to come but get out the sprinkles!
Tips & Tricks for Rolling Out Sugar Cookies
Left - Dust your work surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar instead of flour, it will "melt" into the cookies, disappearing completely. Do use pure cane sugar, it's slightly more expensive but just tastes better.
Center - Dust the dough disc top and bottom too.
Right - For nice crisp edges, dust the cookies cutters with powdered sugar too.
Left - Pull away the extra dough, collecting the scraps on the side for rolling later.
Center - Gently lift the cookies onto the cookie sheet, a flat spatula works, an offset spatula does too.
Right - Save all the scraps and roll them together in the end. Cookies from dough "rolled twice or more" will have a different consistency and take less time to bake. I always put them on a separate cookie sheet so the cookies made from dough "rolled once" can bake perfectly.
Will The Dough Freeze Well?
I hope so! I have half a batch in the freezer now and will let you know. If so, I'll love this dough even more than I do already! UPDATE: The dough does indeed freeze well, for at least six months. Better news? The frosting freezes too! Just bake and decorate, no mixing required!
Perfect for Christmas Cookies
But Sugar Cookies Aren't Just for Christmas Anymore!
St Patrick's Day, Anyone?!
Or Valentine's Day?
Or Spring Flowers?
More Cutout Cookies for Festive Occasions
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