Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies
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1 C real butter (no substitutions!)

1 C sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 t almond extract (or other flavor of your choice, like vanilla)

3 C flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes. Add in eggs and extract and mix to incorporate.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to co
mbine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.

Shape the dough into 2 flat disks and wrap in waxed paper and place in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours. If you want your cookies to hold their shape well, the dough needs to be really chilled.

**A great time saving tip is to immediately roll dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper and place on a flat surface in the fridge. It will chill super fast and be ready to go in no time.

When you're ready to roll out dough lightly sprinkle flour onto your work surface and roll out dough with a rolling pin.

Warning: Tangent. One of my favorite kitchen accessories of all time is the Roul'Pat. It's an over-sized Silpat and it's made for working with doughs. It's also great for candy and sooo much more. It stays firmly in place on the counter and nothing sticks to it. They're pricy, but so so worth it. I honestly use mine for something or other just about every day. Rolling sugar cookie dough on a cutting board is annoying, and the thought of doing it right on the counter gives me the heebie-jeebies. Just imagine what's on your counter top and it's all getting stuck in your dough! Anyway, the Roul'Pat is perfect for rolling cookie dough so just ask Santa for one. Wait, do you have a Silpat?? Because you need one of those too! Everyone needs a Silpat, it will change your life.

Alright now, cut out those cookies. Thick or thin, however you like it...

If I'm not going to frost them, I like to sprinkle them with coarse sugar. It looks like glitter, doesn't it? It adds something extra, makes them look pretty, and tastes good.

Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes. The baking time really depends on how you like them. If you like them really soft under-bake them. In my oven, about 8 minutes does it. However if you're making large cookies, or ones with small parts or heavy frosting, you might want to be careful because they might break when they're super soft.

About 8 minutes will get you a really soft cookie, a few minutes longer (when they start to just brown around the edges) and you'll get just a little crispiness around the edges and then a soft center, and bake even longer (and roll thinner) and you'll get a buttery, crispy cookie that will just melt in your mouth. Any way you do it, they'll taste good. Remove onto cooling racks when you're done and let cool completely. I honestly think these even taste better the second day.

Frost any way you like.
If I'm making sugar cookies merely for the purpose of eating them, then my preference is a big swirl of almond cream cheese buttercream, hands down.

If I have a pretty shaped cookie like the ones in the pictures, sometimes I'll just pipe on a decoration. (And don't mind the messy piping here, my icing was super hard so it's full of bumps!).

And if I'm packing to give away, or serving at an event or party, then I like to use Glacé Icing.

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