Every year I whip up several batches of sugar cookies, some with icing, some with just sprinkles or sugar decorations.
Over the years I have experimented and tried to figure out what tastes the best but also has the crunch on the edges and the soft center.
The secret to baking these is to not overcook the cookies and to make sure the dough is chilled when the cookies go into the oven. There is nothing worse than trying to cut out the shapes of the cookies when the dough is too warm and they don't form right, or they come out of the mold as a hot mess. You will want to make sure the dough is nice and chilled, and if it does get warm and soft, place it back in the fridge or freezer for several minutes. The butter in the dough, if it is chilled, will steam and cook perfectly when it hits the warm oven.
I love my cookies soft in the middle and crunchy on the edges and this recipe will do that for you.
Sugar cookies are very versatile. You can cook and eat them as is, add royal icing, or just with some sprinkles or colored sugar decorations. Do what you like and use your imagination. The best thing about the dough is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it in plastic wrap for months. When you make it the day of, the dough needs to sit in a freezer for 20 minutes or the fridge for a couple hours to chill.
RECIPE & INSTRUCTIONS: BUTTERY SUGAR COOKIES & ROYAL ICING
COURSE: Dessert COOK TIME: 14 Min SERVINGS: 1-2 Dozen Cookies
INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIES:
INGREDIENTS FOR ROYAL ICING:
Preheat oven to 325. In a small bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Wisk and set aside.
In a blender, cream the butter and sugar for five to eight minutes. Once it is fluffy, add the egg, vanilla, and brandy. Let each mix in before adding the next ingredient.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture in the blender. Once all the flour is incorporated, use a spatula and place the dough on a floured counter top.
Form the dough into a disk and cut in half. After forming both into two separate disks, wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight, or freezer for 20 minutes to use that same day. They can stay in freezer for a couple months.
When ready to make the cookies, let the dough sit out for five to 10 minutes and place between two pieces of parchment paper coated with a mixture of flour and powdered sugar. Roll out between 1/8th and 1/4th inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour and place shapes on a cookie sheet. This is when you can leave them plain (for icing later) or sprinkle your colored sugar sprinkles on them.
Bake for 14 minutes, rotating the sheet half way through. Once edges look golden brown, take them out. Nothing worse than overcooked sugar cookies.
After they cool on cooling rack for 10 minutes, it is time for the icing if you choose. Once again you can just ice them with the powdered sugar color, or place into small tea cups and add your favorite food coloring. I will even add colored sugar sprinkles over the icing! have fun with the colors and designs.
Place in sealed tight containers for up to a week.
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