Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner. All of them. For a lot of us, that means cookie baking en masse is around the corner too. If you don’t have a solid sugar cookie in your bag of tricks, then you’re holidaying wrong. It’s science. But never fear! We’re going to change that today with my recipe for sugar cookies.
In my world sugar cookies actually fall under two main categories. On the one hand you have sugar cookies that are formulated for eating as is out of the oven. Usually these are rolled in sugar before being baked. On the other hand you have sugar cookies that are baked and cooled and then decorated with royal icing or frosting. I like to call them sugar cookies for decoration (I’m really good at naming stuff). Because holiday cookies are usually extra festive, we’re making sugar cookies for decoration.
Like I mentioned, these cookies are designed to be finished with icing. The best results for piping icing on a cookie occur when the cookie itself is nice and flat. To keep the dough from puffing or spreading too much in the oven (both of which could cause a bumpy finish) I’ve reduced the baking powder and butter slightly. Since we know that eventually this type of cookie will be covered in some type of sugary sweet icing or frosting so to balance the flavor and keep the finished cookie from being too sweet I’ve reduced the sugar as well.
Just like almost any cookie recipe, this dough does much better with 8-24hr. of rest in the fridge. Giving the flour extra time to hydrate (and stabilize water) and giving the butter time to chill is good thing because we don’t want this cookie to spread much during baking.
285g all purpose flour
5g baking powder
140g butter unsalted
100g whole eggs approx. 2
7g vanilla extract
Bring the butter and whole eggs to room temp. before getting started.
Combine and sift the flour and baking powder and reserve it to use later.
Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Cream the mixture on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
Add the whole eggs to the butter mixture in two additions, mixing until emulsified with each addition.
Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for a minimum of 2hrs., up to 24hrs.
Roll the dough out to the thickness you want for your cookies. I like to roll my dough to about 1/8″/.3cm.
Cut your cookies into the desired shapes and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
When I bake these in my professional convection oven, I bake at 350F/176C for 6min. on the dot. At home, because my oven isn’t nearly as efficient and loses heat more quickly I bake at 375F/190C for about 7min. or until they have just set.
Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for 1-2min. and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
Now I know what you might be thinking – the cookies are great and all but what about decorating them?? I hear ya! There’s a lot to talk about and show you when it comes to decorating, so we will be tackling that in our next post!