Spring has been fun for my baking heart. I enjoy making light fruity dishes, but most of all I enjoy making my food look like flowers. I am a floral addict anyway (if you could only see my closet) but when it comes to cookies, cupcakes or even pie I just get the biggest kick out of making them into a dreamy garden!
Today I want to talk about sugar cookies, though so simple in their nature they are a bit on the challenging side for one who wants a solid shape, and that perfect blend of crunch and softness. There are a few things you should know about sugar cookies before baking them.
- Number one, do not I repeat DO NOT skip the step of refrigeration. This is the reason your cookies stay perfectly shaped while baking.
- Number two, do not over bake the cookies. there should be no “golden brown” anywhere on the pan. Only a dry, just baked cookie.
- Number three, they are better with almond extract. More on that in a minute.
I use this recipe always, for orders or just for cookies for my family and it never fails me. The cookies are soft, and stay soft for some time and they always keep their shape. The combination of vanilla and small amount of almond extract give them the most incredible flavor you could ever want from a sugar cookie. These amaze mouths! I’m telling you!
I typically finish my cookies with Royal Icing, which will be a blog post for another day. You are free to use buttercream, cream cheese, or any frosting you desire!
The small little bumps or bubbles on these is from me re-rolling the dough many times. Minimizing the times you do this will result in a flatter cookie.
As much as I’d like to take credit, this recipe is not my own but from my favorite cookie blog Sally’s Baking Addiction. Her recipes are amazing, and she’s a self taught home baker, like me!
Here’s how to make ’em.
- 3/4 cup butter, slightly softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, or emulsion
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (Omit if using salted butter)
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed and smooth – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combine, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. I usually make 2 mounds of dough, wrap it in parchment and place in the fridge, for at least 2 hours. Chilling is mandatory. If chilling for more than a couple hours,make sure the dough is wrapped well with the parchment.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The amount of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. I like my cookies thick. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator roll and cut into desired shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes, I never do longer than 8. Remove the cookies when the top is no longer shiny, and you can tell the cookie is cooked without any brown color. Thicker cookies may take another minute or two.
- Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before decorating.