Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Sugar Cookies


The days are escaping quickly which is a pretty good indication that Christmas is almost here.  Another sign would be the four batches of sugar cookie dough that are chilling in the fridge waiting to be rolled and cut.  Cookies to ship, cookies to go into Christmas gifts and also ones to fill the gratitude baskets we give out each year (to the people who have touched our lives - mail carrier, bank teller, mechanic, neighbor, cashier at Wal-mart.  Anyone who has been special to us this year). 

RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM
No basket, gift or package would be complete without my sugar cookies (so I am told).  My munchkin has started enjoying in this tradition already.  She looks adorable in her apron, holding a giant rolling pin and rolling out the dough.  Helping cut it out and the most fun has been decorating. But, we will talk more about that later.

This is one of the many popular sugar cookie recipes out there.  More than the base of the recipe, the method will really make a difference.  Chilling the dough before it is rolled and again after it is cut, gives you beautiful and crisp lines on your cookies.  If you have a hard time with sticking try a non stick silicone baking sheet liner with parchment paper on top.  It works perfectly for me.  But, if your cookies do come out of the oven a little poofy, use a flat metal spatula to gently press down on the tops while they are cooling on the baking sheet.

Dough keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks and in the freezer for at least 2 months (from my personal experience).

Good luck and happy baking!  With love from our Simply Delicious kitchen to yours!
 
Are you busy baking your favorite Christmas cookies or looking for amazing cookie recipes for your holiday celebrations? Then you need to check out our fabulous cookie party.  It is a 4 week long celebration and it already has over 90 amazing cookie recipes shared!

Dash to the Holidays!  Cookie Party 2012 is hosted by our blog The Simple Kitchen and Dash we are delighted bring you our very first partyEveryone is invited! Tell your mom, your best friends, your grandma and your neighbors. Share your recipes with Dash, PARADE and millions of readers online. The more cookies the merrier!!! 

The cookie party has a new scrumptious theme each week. Here's the schedule:

Week of December 3 – Drop Cookies
Week of December 10 – Cut-Out Cookies, Slice & Bake
Week of December 17 – Bar Cookies
Week of December 24 – Special Diet Cookies (e.g.: gluten-free, diabetic-friendly, vegan, etc.)

PARADE Magazine (from your Sunday paper) will be inviting all their readers to join in this HUGE COOKIE PARTY this weekend so hop on over, post up your favorite cookie recipe and get seen by all their readers.

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Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking

Sugar Cookies
makes approximately 36 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar, on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs, vanilla and almond.  Beat until combined. Add the salt and flour; beat until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350°F and place rack in top third of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.)  Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking. Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sparkling sugar.

Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure to let the royal icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours or overnight.)

Makes about 36 cookies.

14 comments:

  1. Those are just so beautiful - I'm not sure I could eat one!

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  2. I've been looking for a good sugar cookie recipe! Thanks!

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  3. Beautiful cookies! I love decorated sugar cookies at Christmastime. :)

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  4. Oh these look stunning my friend! Beautiful and delicious

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  5. So pretty! They look like they belong in Bon Appetit!

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  6. What's the secret to the glossy icing? My Royal Icing always turns a bit flat.

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    Replies
    1. This icing dries glossy. I will share a recipe later in the week. But, if you love your icing, you can also dry your cookies with a heat gun and that will leave a glossy sheen on them. Hope that helps! Happy Baking. XO

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    2. Did you post the royal icing? I can't find a link nor when I do the search?

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    3. Did you post the icing? I cannot find it.

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  7. Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post :)

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  8. Donna, these are GORGEOUS!!! Love the sheen on them, too! Thank you SO much for sharing them at Wicked Good Wednesdays! Hope to see you again tomorrow!

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  9. Hi there! Did you ever share a recipe for your royal icing? I can't seem to find it and I need it desperately! lol

    Thanks!
    ~Wendy

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  10. http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/blog/2011/04/royal-icing-101-or-all-roads-lead-to-rome/

    OR

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sugar-cookie-icing/

    The first dries fast, the second tastes better, but takes long to dry. Hope that helps. Happy baking.

    ReplyDelete

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