My Favorite Sugar Cookies

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Average: 3.2 (17 votes)

The trick with most rolled cookies is to work the rolled dough quickly, as it gets soft in the handling. You have a choice here: Roll and cut the cookies in the traditional way or shape the dough into logs and slice. This sugar cookie recipe is courtesy of The Old Farmer's Almanac Everyday Baking.

Ingredients

4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1?3 cup vegetable shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
milk or light cream, for brushing
colored or coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk well, to mix. Combine the butter and shortening in a separate large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the ingredients until smooth and creamy, gradually adding the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture about 1 cup at a time.

When all of the flour has been added, the dough will be cohesive and semi-firm, but pliable. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into thirds.

To make rolled cookies, place each third of the dough in the center of 1 gallon plastic storage bag and flatten with your palm to about a ¾-inch thickness. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Remove each portion from the fridge about an hour before baking and roll the dough right in the bag to about a ½-inch thickness.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter two large baking sheets or line them with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the bag and, on a sheet of lightly floured waxed or parchment paper, roll it to a little less than ¼-inch thick. Cut the dough into shapes. Place the shapes on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about an inch in between. (Gather the scraps, press them together until they’re about ¾-inch thick, place in a plastic bag, and chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours. Roll and cut as above.) Brush lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

To make sliced cookies, place each third of the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. By folding the wrap over the dough and then rolling it while twisting and lightly pulling on the ends of the wrap to apply tension, shape the dough into logs about 1-½ inches in diameter. Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Remove each log from the fridge about an hour before baking, remove the plastic, and slice the dough into rounds about ¼-inch thick.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the rounds on prepared baking sheets. Brush lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

For either method, bake on the center oven rack for 12 to 13 minutes, one sheet at a time, until the cookies start to turn golden around the edges. Using a spatula, immediately transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly. Makes 24 or more cookies, depending on their size.

Sugar Cookie Ornaments

Instructions

Ornamental sugar cookies hung on a ribbon are a holiday tradition. While the unbaked cookies are on the baking sheet, use a drinking straw to poke a hole in each cookie for stringing a ribbon. Make the hole about 1⁄ 3 inch from the edge (so that the edge doesn’t break) and centered near the “top” of the cookie ornament.

Cooking & Recipes

Yield: 

Makes 24 or more cookies, depending on their size.

Preparation Method

Occasions

Comments

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Another cool thing you can do

Another cool thing you can do to these cookies is to make them like stained glass by breaking up life saver candies and puting the peices in the cutouts. The candy melts and makes the cookies look just like stained glass.

I want to know if you can use

I want to know if you can use this dough in a cookie press.

The best dough to use in a

The best dough to use in a cookie press is a spritz cookie dough. We have a recipe here:
http://www.almanac.com/recipe/...

it says to "Sift the flour,

it says to "Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl" but I don't see salt listed in the recipe?

There should be 3/4 teaspoon

There should be 3/4 teaspoon of salt in the recipe. It has been added to the ingredients list. Thank you!

lol...yvw..if you all ever

lol...yvw..if you all ever need a proofreader let me know :)

Just curious on how they cut

Just curious on how they cut out these cookies, would love to make some and hang on my tree. Thanks

Hi Sandy, See the end of the

Hi Sandy, See the end of the recipe above! It says you poke a hole in the cookie with a drinking straw.

I am pretty sure that she was

I am pretty sure that she was referring to the intricate snowflake cut-outs. I know I have never seen cookie cutters like that!

Thank you that was what I was

Thank you that was what I was asking, i guess there is no answer for this one, I don't know of any cookie cutter like this.

Thank I did read that, but I

Thank I did read that, but I was referring to the design

Do a search on Google for

Do a search on Google for Snow Flake Cookie Cutters. Then pick your favorite. There are quite a few to choose from.

Thank you I will! :)

Thank you I will! :)

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