Food

The Best Sugar Cookies

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These are the best sugar cookies, ever! You may not believe me. A sugar cookie is a sugar cookie. I disagree. I have had many beautifully decorated sugar cookies that taste quite bland with a dry texture. This amazing simple recipe is full of flavor with a nice soft texture.

My family absolutely loves these cookies. I usually make them for holidays and special occasions. I have zero decorating skills. My cookies are very homemade looking. But, they taste so good. 

A lot of the fun of homemade sugar cookies is the decorations. My boys always helped when they were little. Each cookie was a tiny canvas for them to express themselves with icing and sprinkles. If you have kids they will love creating their own edible masterpieces.

I have used buttercream frosting, and a corn syrup based frosting. The best decorating icing is royal icing. It sets up perfectly for stacking and the decorating possibilities are endless. My cookies in the picture have corn syrup icing. It sets up similar to royal icing, but it’s much runnier. It’s not the easiest icing to work with, but I didn’t have the ingredients for royal icing so I had to make do. 

You can find the recipe for royal icing here: Gingerbread Cookies

Enjoy this easy, no refrigeration required, sugar cookie recipe.

Happy Eating!

 

 

 

Sugar Cookies 

 

Ingredients

1 cup butter 

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups flour

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375° 
  • In a small bowl add salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Whisk together.
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add vanilla, almond extract, and eggs. Mix on medium high speed until combined. It will look lumpy from the eggs. That’s OK.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on medium high speed until combined. 
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Use your favorite cookie cutters and transfer to a baking sheet, and place them about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. The sugar cookies should be light in color. If the edges are brown they are over-cooked. 
  • Leave the cookies on the trays for about a minute before removing them to a cooling rack. 
  • Cool completely and decorate.

Notes:

  • If the dough is a bit sticky, just place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
  • Oven temps vary so keep an eye on the first batch or two of cookies until you see how your oven cooks.
  • Place your oven rack in the middle so the cookies bake evenly.
  • Line your baking sheets with parchment for easy clean up. You can also just bake the cookies directly on your ungreased cookie sheets. 
  • I always use salted butter for all my baking. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Cookie Icing

 

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons milk

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

¼ teaspoon almond extract

 

Directions

  • In a medium bowl blend sugar and milk until smooth.
  • Add corn syrup and almond extract. Beat until smooth and shiny.
  • Use food coloring to make whatever colors you prefer.

 

Notes:

  • This is very runny icing. The texture reminds me of white school glue.
  • Use a small amount on each cookie. If you put too much of the icing it will run over the edge of the cookies.
  • It will set up overnight.
  • If the icing is too thick add more milk and corn syrup in about the same ratios.
  • I usually just play around with the texture until I get the consistency I want.

Christmas, Food

Gingerbread Cookies

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You can’t help but smile when you see a gingerbread cookie smiling back at you. I have been baking all kinds of cookies for years, but I never made gingerbread cookies until now. My youngest son loves gingerbread so this was the year to make them. I’m so glad I did. 

These gingerbread cookies are chewy, slightly crisp on the outside, with a nice soft interior. I do not like super soft cookies. I like my cookies on the crisp side. This gingerbread cookie is a good combo of both. The spice is not overwhelming, and there is just enough to know you are eating gingerbread. 

Any child would have fun making these little people, and decorating them. I used a very simple royal icing, but you could just as easily use buttercream icing. Even big kids will enjoy decorating these cookies. Everyone will love this sweet spicy gingerbread cookie. They are really good. It’s a nice addition to your Christmas baking. You’ll be smiling too.

Merry Christmas!

Gingerbread Cookies 

Ingredients 

¾ cup butter softened

1 cup brown sugar

¾ cup molasses

1 egg

2 teaspoons ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon salt

3 ¾ cup all purpose flour

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° 
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment or just leave them ungreased.
  3. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer, using the paddle attachment until it’s creamy and fluffy.
  4. Add the molasses and the egg. Mix on medium speed until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and flour. Mix with a whisk.
  6. Gradually add the four mixture to the wet dough. It will be thick and sticky. Mix until combined.
  7. Divide the dough in half, and wrap in plastic. Flatten the dough into disks. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, up to overnight. 
  8. Roll out prepared dough on a lightly floured surface to approximately ¼ inch thick. It can be crumbly. Press firmly with the rolling pin but not hard. Cut out shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Be careful as you transfer to your baking sheet. The dough can crumble easily. 
  9. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your cookies. Larger cut outs will take about 10 minutes, smaller sizes will take about 8 minutes. Shorter bake time means softer cookies. Longer bake time means crispier cookies. They should be slightly brown and a little firm. 
  10. Leave the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a cooling rack. They will continue to bake as they sit. 
  11.  Once the gingerbread cookies are completely cool, decorate with royal icing and sprinkles. 
  12. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days. 

Notes:

  • Spray your measuring cups with cooking spray beforehand and the molasses will come out much easier.
  • It’s OK if your dough is crumbly. Just push it together when you roll it out. It will still bake nicely.
  • Adjust the spices and add more or less to your liking.
  • This recipe makes approximately 30 medium size cookies.

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Royal Icing 

Ingredients

6 tablespoons (3 oz.) pasteurized egg whites

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

4 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, add egg whites and vanilla. Mix using whisk attachment for about 30 seconds until it’s frothy. Add powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Switch to high and mix until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks have formed. This will only take a few minutes. Add any food coloring and place icing in a pastry bag to decorate cookies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Tips:

  • Add water if your royal icing is too thick.
  • Add powdered sugar if royal icing is too thin.
  • Let the icing sit out at room temperature for a bit after it’s been refrigerated.
  • Royal icing should completely dry in about 2 hours.
  • You need to work pretty quick when using this icing because it starts to harden up right away. 
  • Add a different flavor like peppermint or almond.

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