Sugar cookies just scream “CHRISTMAS” to me, yet it took me years of trying before I found the perfect sugar cookie recipe. You’d think that it would be easy to find the right combination of sugar & flour to make great cookies – and you’d be right. But, to find the right recipe that will actually hold the shape during baking wasn’t quite so easy. With a little trial and error, I finally did it (and even used them to make sugar cookie gift tags this year.)
My recipe (adapted from Fancy Flours) is so simple, and gives you a firm cookie that tastes great and looks good, too.
3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract.
In the bowl of a mixer (or with a handheld mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, then mix again until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient and mix together until you have a thick mixture, but it will be spreadable (similar to peanut butter). Baking depends a lot on a lot of different factors – add the last cup of flour slowly until you get the right consistency. If you add it all, yours might be too dry (see comments below.)
Wrap the mixture with clear plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator for an hour or so until completely chilled. Half the mixture, then roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper until it is the desired thickness (no additional flour needed = no mess – yay!). Cut with cutters, then bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom JUST begins to brown. Keep an eye on them, they’ll bake rather quickly.