Sugar cookies are simple and relatively quick to prepare. The rolled sugar cookies do take a little longer because the dough chills but it's worth the wait, and could be considered a "make ahead feature". Cookie cutters are so much fun to work with and come in endless shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. My son is a big fan of trains so I cut these so he could play with them before he ate them, that always makes it more fun. I decided not to decorate them because I liked the simplicity of the shapes.
Although, of course you could use colored sugars or frostings to add color or texture. This recipe comes from Brown Eyed Baker and she adapted it from Baking Illustrated. I have not made sugar cookies in a long time because I was trying out so many other flavors of cookies. When I saw this recipe though I had to make it, it pulled me in. I will also be making the standard soft and chewy version soon with cranberries and pistachios in them, you will see those next week sometime. :)
Rolled Sugar Cookies
Yield: About 12 cookies
- 1 cups (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon light brown sugar
- ½ large egg* (or about 1 ½ tablespoons egg beaters)
- ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. Cream the butter, the ½ cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and vanilla; beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.
3. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can refrigerate up to 2 days, or freeze it and take it out and put in the refrigerator about 12 hours before you plan to bake.)
4. Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Flour the counter, the dough and a rolling pin and roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Dip a cookie cutter in flour and cut out your cookies, placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
5. Refrigerate the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
6. Bake for 8-9 minutes until edges are just ready to turn the slightest bit light brown (you really don’t want much coloring at all on these cookies), rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking.
7. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
*To obtain 1/2 of a large egg, place one egg in a small bowl, stir with a fork until blended then measure out about half of the egg. The other half can be discarded or added to other eggs to make scrambled eggs or used in another recipe.
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker