Recipe Post: Sugar Cookies of DOOOOOOMMMMM! (Part 1)

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap. – Barbara Jordan

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I have a great friend in Ottawa who hooked me up last year with his employer, a HUGE National organization, to make custom-decorated sugar cookies for the employee participants in their annual United Way Campaign. I was asked to bake off an amount of cookies for a couple of his org’s satellite offices in my city.

The timing of delivery was a little awkward this year, as I had *just!!* purchased my non-refundable ticket to go visit my family for a week, and these cookies were to be due the Monday after my return. But, no fear!…I went ahead and accepted the order anyway. Mainly because my parents have a kick-ass, sun-filled gourmet kitchen that is a JOY to work in compared to my sad little galley kitchen with nary a window in sight.

So I made dough for 200 cookies and baked off most of them in Ottawa, and then carefully packed and brought them back to Toronto, where my good friend Miss Kitty and I decorated them all.darn.weekend.long. I missed Saturday night’s Nuit Blanche, but it was worth it just to get these cookies done! 🙂

Click here for Part II of this post.

Below is my tried-and-true recipe for Rolled Sugar Cookies, which keep their shapes beautifully after baking! Please note, however, that re-rolling the scrap dough for these cookies has some pitfalls; the re-rolled cutout cookies will shrink a little after baking and be somewhat less tender than their original counterparts. The shrinking can be lessened by ensuring that the dough scraps are well-chilled in the fridge before re-rolling.

2014-10-03 19.47.03-cropAlicia’s Rolled Sugar Cookies

Yield: approximately 5 dozen 3” cookies.

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (you can substitute up to ¾ cup vanilla sugar here)
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (if you like flecks of vanilla beans through your cookies, use an equal amount of vanilla bean paste or scrape ½ vanilla bean pod into your liquids)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and light.

2014-10-01 10.49.04Beat in eggs, one at a time until each is incorporated, and then the vanilla.

Or do like I did and just add the vanilla directly to the eggs.

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Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together;

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add to wet ingredients in 3 batches, allowing each to be incorporated before adding the next.

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Cover and chill mixed dough for at least one hour or overnight (I flattened mine in plastic to make it easier for the rolling step next).

Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C).

On lightly floured surface, roll out dough ¼” to ½’ thick, depending on preference.

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Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter. Place cookies 1” apart on parchment or foil covered cookie sheets.

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Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven, turning and rotating once. Cool completely before decorating. Will keep for several days in a well-vented container.

Variations:

Fruit: Lemon/Lime/Orange/Citrus: replace vanilla with 1 tsp juice of whichever citrus fruit chosen, and add 1 tsp finely grated citrus peel to the dough’s final mix.

Spice: add up to 1 tsp of favourite finely ground spices to dry ingredients when sifting; note that spice cookies will often be a little darker in appearance upon baking. Try cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, mace, ginger, nutmeg, or anise!

Tea/Coffee: add up to 1 tsp of finely ground tea leaves to dry ingredients when sifting. Teas such as Chai, Earl Grey, Chamomile, or some of the berry teas/tisanes would be wonderful. Adding 1 tsp of instant espresso would also be quite the hit!

Herbs: There are some interesting herbs that would make cookies delicious too! Up to 1 tsp of finely ground mint leaves, lavender, dried basil or aromatic rosemary would make these cookies pop with flavour.

Lastly, feel free to combine some of the variations together for a unique cookie experience! Some delicious unusual flavour pairings off the top of my head are Vanilla Bean-Chai, Mint-Lime, Basil-Lemon, Espresso-Citrus, and Lavender-Earl Grey.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for the great tips about cut-out scraps and spice variations 🙂 ❤ ❤

    Like

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