Vanilla Sugar Cookies

I’ve had an itch to start decorating more sugar cookies… I mean really cute sugar cookies (like the ones seen here) So I’ve been hunting for the best recipes and tips from the best sugar cookie artists.  Here is the recipe that I came up with thanks to my two cookie-decorating idols: Bake at 350 & Sweetopia.

I recently used this recipe to make Mickey Mouse sugar cookies for my nephew’s upcoming 1st Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed birthday party. The cookies turned out AWESOME! Not only do they taste great, but they also kept their mickey-mouse-shape after cutting them out with a cookie cutter. Currently, the cookies are in the fridge awaiting their proclamation of “decoration” (cheesy, I know.. but I’m excited!) I’ll keep ya posted on my adventures with Mickey Mouse (cookies), but until then, enjoy the recipe for the vanilla sugar cookies.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

  • 5 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 ½ sticks (salted) butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Cream the sugar and butter.

{Tip: Cream together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed.  (Use the paddle attachment).  Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more.} {Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough.  If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.}

Add the egg and extracts slowly and mix.

{Tip: Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.}

Sift the dry ingredients together. (Flour, baking powder, & salt)

Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

{Tip: Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’t escape.  Mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready.  It’s also important at this stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough}.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling (video on University of Cookie).

Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. 

Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.

Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes.

Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Re-roll scraps and repeat.

To help cookies keep their shape, freeze them!

Freeze the cut out shapes on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before baking.

They rise just slightly higher and keep their shape better. This really helps when using an intricate cookie cutter, but can also be done when baking circles.

“If I’m baking a large batch of cookies, I normally have one sheet in the oven, one in the freezer, one on the counter for loading and one cooling and I just rotate through them. “-Bake at 350.

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.

The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.

Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.  Start decorating all of those fabulous-tasting sugar cookies! 

 

   
If you aren’t ready to decorate just yet, the cookies can also be frozen. 

More tips on helping your cookies keep their shape. 

Check out the cookies I baked using this recipe:
Mickey Mouse Cookies

 

 

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