This sugar cookie recipe has been adapted from different recipes I’ve tried, and it is a collection of what has worked best for me. It is also super easy and fool-proof, I promise! These cookies hold their shape well while cooking, and I get numerous compliments on how they taste. They aren’t too hard or too soft, they hold up well during transportation, and they should last for a long time in proper storage. (Although, I’ve never kept any around that long to find out because they always get eaten up so quickly!)
To make this royally impressive cookie, you will need:
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of softened butter (left in room temperature for a few hours)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 3 cups flour (plus about 1-2 cups for later)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- cooking spray
- 1-3 cookie sheets
- baking spatulas
- cooling racks
- stand mixer and extra bowl
- clean counter top or pastry board
- cookie cutters
To make this sweet treat, you can:
- Add the butter and sugar to a bowl attached to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream them together until nice and fluffy. I use low to medium speed.
- Add in the vanilla extract, almond extract, egg, and mix well. Again, I use low to medium speed.
- In your extra bowl, whisk together 3 cups of flour and the baking powder.
- Add your flour mixture to the wet ingredients one 1/2 cup at a time while the mixer is on low. (If you don’t add it slowly, you will end up in a plume of flour! Funny but not a cute look.) Wait until the majority of the dry ingredients are incorporated before adding the next bit of dry ingredients.
- Once you’ve added all your dry ingredients, your dough will be kind of sticky. Sprinkle a liberal amount of flour onto a clean counter top or pastry board, and dump out the contents of your bowl. (There may be some bits at the bottom that didn’t get mixed in yet – make sure you get all of those as well.)
- Staring kneading your dough together and add flour as needed to get it to the perfect consistency. This part takes some practice and may depend on the temperature of your home. (Hint: I end up using more flour in the summer because the dough is warmer than in the winter.) You don’t want it to be very sticky, and you want it to hold it’s shape.
- As an *optional* step, roll your dough into a ball onto a piece of plastic wrap, flatten it slightly, wrap it up, and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour. In the winter, I don’t have to do this, but it definitely helps during the hot summer months or if you live in a warmer climate. (For reference, we keep our house at 65-68℉ in the winter and at 75-78℉ in the summer.) Keeping your cookie dough chilled will help it to hold its shape when cutting out your cookies.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350℉.
- Roll out your dough onto a lightly floured surface. You can choose whether you want thin or thick cookies. Generally, 1/4 inch thickness is a good size. If you roll them too thin, you won’t be able to easily transfer them without ruining their shape. If that happens, you can just roll it back into a ball and try again. Easy fix!
- Use your cookie cutters (or a knife and a homemade template if you wanna get crazy!) to cut out your desired shapes, and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. As an *optional* step, you can pop the cookie sheet and raw cookies in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to help the cookies keep their exact shape. However, I rarely do this unless I’m making letter cookies or if it’s highly important that everything is exact. This recipe does a good job keeping the cookie shapes on it’s own without chilling, especially in the winter. If you like really thick cookies, though, you should consider freezing them. If you do this step, remember that the cookie sheet and cookies are now cold and the cook time may be longer for the next step.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just turning a bit golden. The time required will vary with your oven, your cookie sheet, and the size of the cookies. Mini-sized cookies may only take 6-8 minutes. (Tip: Only bake one general size of cookie on the same cookie sheet. That way you won’t burn your smaller cookies.)
- If you plan on decorating the cookies, let them cool completely on cooling racks before doing so. I cover my cookies with plastic wrap if I’m leaving them out overnight to completely cool.
There you have it: a sugar cookie recipe fit for a queen! I know this was a long post, but I really wanted to incorporate all the little things a normal recipe doesn’t tell you. Make sure to share your treats with me using the hashtag #confectionqueen on twitter and instagram. I can’t wait to see everyone’s confection creations!