Monday, February 13, 2012

Sugar Cookies

Valentine's Day is just one day away, and it's one of my favorite holidays to whip of pretty treats in the kitchen.  I've been pondering over several recipes to make, and I thought for my first treat I should stick with a classic, my favorite sugar cookie recipe.  These cookies are soft and slightly chewy, have just the right taste of vanilla and almond, and are perfect topped with royal icing.  If you need another reason to try them, they look so pretty when iced and topped with sprinkles.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract

Royal Icing (Recipe Below)


Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar, mix until light and fluffy.  With mixer running, add egg, milk, and vanilla and almond extract.  Mix until well combined.  With the mixer on low, slowly add reserved flour mixture.  Mix until just combined.

Transfer dough to a work surface.  Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper and set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to about 1/4-inch thickness (Martha’s recipe says 1/8 but I thought this was a little too thin).  Cut into desired shapes (dip edges of cutter in flour to prevent dough from sticking).  Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between each cookie.  Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. 

Refrigerate cut out cookies on baking sheets in fridge just before baking to retain crisp edges.

Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; (do not allow to brown)!  Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Royal Icing: 
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
5 egg whites
½ cup water

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the confectioner’s sugar to get rid of any bumps.  Add the egg whites and beat on medium speed.

To make a thicker icing for outline cookies DO NOT add any water!  Beat until the icing is the desired thickness.

To make a thinner icing for flooding cookies add some water until you have the right consistency.

Add a few drops of food coloring (a little goes a long way) if so desired.

To make icing cookies easier put icing in squirt bottles instead of piping bags.
To ice cookies:

Make a border around the cookies edges with the thicker icing to create a dam.  Let dry a few minutes. 
 Fill in the cookie with flooding icing and move around with tip of squirt bottle to evenly distribute.  Add any sugar or sprinkles and let dry.

Recipe Adapted from Martha Stewart

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1 comment:

Winnie said...

These cookies are soooooooo ramntic
I just love the pink color!:)

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