Sunday, March 6, 2011
My best Sugar Cookie Recipe and tips
1 cup butter, softened (use unsalted)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, Sift together flour and baking powder: stir into creamed mixture, alternating with the heavy cream. Cover dough and chill for 2-3 hours until firm. (Leave it overnight if ya want to wait until the next day to make them)
Preheat oven to 350 F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4" thickness.
*Tip: use pieces of 1/4" balsa wood, or chopsticks, or anything you have around the house that is 1/4" thick. Place on both sides of dough and use as little platforms for the edge of your roller. All your dough will come out at the same thickness. 1/4" is thicker than you think!
Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters
*Tip: dip your cookie cutter in flour before each cut, it wont stick to the dough
Place cookies 1" apart on cookie sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.
*Tip: Use parchment paper!! It is the best investment you will ever make for cookies! Buy it in the tin foil, saran wrap section of your grocery store. You can reuse pieces more than once.
*Tip: If you put more than one tray of cookies in the oven, make sure they match. Do not use one dark non stick tray, and one shiny silver tray. They will cook at different rates.
*IMPORTANT TIP: For perfectly shaped cookies, place tray with cut cookies in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. This will "set" the shape and usually prevents the shapes from melting into big blobs in the oven. Since the tray is cold, you may need to add a minute or two to the cooking time.
Bake for 12-14 minutes in preheated oven until bottoms and edges are BARELY BARELY getting brown. Leave on tray for one minute. Then place on wire cooling rack.
*Tip: Every oven is different, and the type of tray you use affects timing. Sometimes I will experiment with a small batch for the perfect time... take out a few cookies at 12 minutes, then a few more at 13, then a few more at 14.... see which ones are perfectly soft, not undercooked, and not too crunchy once they cool. Once you figure it out once, write it down. If you always use the same oven, and same cookie sheets with parchment paper, you will now now the perfect time for all future cookies!
*Tip: Let tray cool (or run under cold water) before adding the next batch of cookies. If you put cut cookies on a warm tray, it will affect their shape and cooking time. You can also rinse off parchment paper and reuse.
If you like, frost with premade cake frosting, or make your own for that Martha Stewart cookie look! Buy a box of powdered sugar. The recipe for frosting is on the box.