Sugar cookies are the quintessential holiday cookie. They can be cut and decorated for any occasion – hearts for Valentine’s Day, flowers and chicks for Easter and trees and snowman for Christmas.
They’re also my husband’s favorite type of cookie. In year’s past, I just made boring round ones because I didn’t have any cool cookie cutters. But thanks to a birthday present from my mother-in-law, this year I have several shapes for several holidays.
Also this year, instead of going for the refrigerated or packaged sugar cookie dough, I thought I’d make them from scratch. Not sure why I didn’t do it before, as it’s super easy.
Decorating for me is the most difficult part. I definitely do not have a steady hand. The icing turned out a little thin, so my first few cookies had icing dripping over the side.
As you can see in the photos, the icing and sprinkles aren’t perfect. But they’re still pretty and definitely tasty. An isn’t it better to be original?
I’m sure as my son gets older (he’s nearly 15 months) we’ll have even more fun decorating cookies together. At this point if I try to put a cookie and icing in front of him, he just eats the cookie and plays in the icing.
Roll the dough between two floured sheets of parchment to avoid getting dough stuck to the rolling pin. It works wonders.
Recipe: Sugar cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- assorted candies, sprinkles or other decorations
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk, water or lemon juice
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add in flour mixture; beat until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; freeze at least 20 minutes or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Remove one dough disk; let stand 5-10 minutes. Roll out 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of floured parchment, dusting dough with flour as needed. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets. (If dough gets soft, chill 10 minutes). Reroll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 10 to 18 minutes (depending on size). Cool completely on wire racks; decorate as desired. Store in airtight containers at room temperature, up to one week.
- Sift confectioners sugar into bowl. Whisk in liquid one tablespoon at a time, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If too thin; whisk in more sugar. If too thick; add more liquid. Spread over cookies with back of spoon. Add other decorations, if desired. Let icing harden, about 20 minutes.
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