I am on a journey to the secret of pinterest-perfect sugar cookies. I’m taking it kind of personally. I want tasty, perfect texture, skillfully placed icing, adorable cut out characters. I’m working on it.
I think the first place you start with making “fancy” cookies is to have a solid recipe. I’ve tried this one a few times and it has never let me down. I’ve only ever made blobulous cookies before I came across this recipe.
Here’s an example of the difference of my cookies now to my cookies from 2015
I hope that picture is enough to convince you to switch to this recipe. I’m passionate about it, ha.
Here it is:
2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
*1/2 tsp almond extract
1 large room temperature egg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
*the almond extract is not required for them to look perfect, but the taste is just slightly different and adds a different dimension with the almond extract
Having the butter and eggs room temperature is an extra step in the prep, but I was doing some research on cookie science and I learned a few things about that. If the butter is too warm, the cookies will get droopy and lose their shape. This was one of the biggest improvements to my technique, as I always used to use melted butter and never once thought of the repercussions.
Step 1: Preheat to 350 and cream the butter and sugar together
Step 2: Once the sugar and butter is combined, add the extracts and egg, and beat until well combined
Step 3: Add baking powder and salt, then add flour one cup at a time. It may seem a smidge dry, but once you work it a little, it comes together.
Step 4: Cut ball of dough in half and roll out anywhere from 1/4 inch to 3/8 or really however you want.
Step 5: Cut out shapes with cookie cutter or make balls and flatten
Step 6: Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in middle rack for 6-8 minutes. 6 minutes is usually exactly right for my oven. You may have to experiment to find your sweet spot. As you can see, I put mine relatively close together.
I leave them to finish cooking on the hot baking sheet for 5-10 minutes or however long it takes me to finish cleaning up the giant mess I just made. Then I put them on a cooling rack so they fully cool.
Waiting until they’re fully cooled to put the icing on is always so difficult…
But you must, or you’ll get cookies like in my last post.
For the cookies I made today, I made two different typed of icing, both with the same base. For the green dinosaurs, I put a dash of ground allspice in the powdered sugar, which is why it looks crunchy. It was an experiment. Pretty tasty, but it might work better in a whipped kind of icing.
2 tsp corn syrup
1 cup(or more) powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp milk
Last time I used water, but this time I wanted something a little more substantial. I had to add a bit more powdered sugar to thicken it up, and just added two drops of food coloring.
My goal was to be a little fancy with this, so I wanted to make like a peppermint design on the round cookies. I outlined it like all the tutorials said to do, then filled in after it dried a little.
To get the icing all the way to the edges of the outline, I used a toothpick to drag the icing while it was still wet.
The red design was made with two drops of red food coloring in a splash of water. I dipped a wooden toothpick in the red water, and dragged it in squiggly lines from the outer edge into the middle.
It’s not perfect but from far away they look really great! Come to think of it, these would be cool for Halloween bloodshot eyeball cookies!
Well, there it is, my best attempt at cookies so far. I’ve grown a lot, and I’m very proud. I’m still on the lookout for perfect icing, so if you have a good recipe, let me know!
I hope you all have a great day and awesome holidays and I’ll talk to you later!