Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Perfect Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are often overlooked, overshadowed by their fancier cousins who have accessories like chocolate, sprinkles, nuts, peanut butter, cinnamon/sugar.  They are sweet and easy to make but certainly are not a simple, unassuming cookie.  Given the right kind of frosting or cutouts they are true gems.  The ingredients here are straight forward and can be found in any decently stocked pantry.  If you enjoy a crispier cookie, roll them thinner and bake slightly longer than suggested.  I prefer them softer so I roll them to 1/4" thick and bake for exactly 10 minutes at 340 degrees.  I top them with Vanilla Icing for Sugar Cookies and always have a hard time not eating the whole batch.

1 c. butter (not margarine)
1 c. sugar
1 extra large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350. 
2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add egg and the extract and mix to incorporate.
3.  In a seperate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the flour mixture at little at a time to the butter and mix until completely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
4.  Roll the dough to 1/4" thickness between 2 sheets of parchment paper.  Lay the sheet of dough flat on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
5.  Using a 1 1/2" round cookie cutter, or desired shape, cut as many cookies as possible from dough, re-roll the scraps to 1/4" and cut as many as possible, repeat until all dough is used.  Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 8-12 minutes, or until just set.  (Larger cut outs will take slightly longer). 
6.  After baking, remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Frost or decorate as desired.

Yield: 3 dozen 1 1/2" round cookies

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