I've been asked quite a bit lately what sugar cookie recipe I use. The truth is, I use quite a few different ones.
Here is one that I use often. The cookies hold their shape pretty good in the oven and they taste yummy!
"Mom's Cut-Out cookies" This is from Karen's Cookies and I use the modifications that she puts at the bottom of the recipe (I put them in the recipe below).
1/2 C. unsalted butter
1/2 C. shortening
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
2 T. milk
Cream shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, beat well. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder; Stir into creamed mixture along with milk. Chill for several hours or overnight. Roll on lightly floured board to ¼" thickness. Cut into desired shapes.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes.
This is one that I use if I am using cookie cutters that have small details, like the farm animal cookies. The cookies are really good. The white chocolate adds a little more sweetness!
It's called White chocolate sugar cookies. It's also from Karen's Cookies.
•2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
•1 tsp. baking powder
•¼ tsp. salt
•½ cup butter, softened
•1/3 cup sugar
•1 tsp. vanilla extract
•6 oz. white chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small saucepan over low heat, melt the white chocolate and set aside. In small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt (so they're well combined) and set aside.
In large mixer bowl beat butter and sugar until creamy. Blend in egg and vanilla extract. Beat in melted white chocolate. Gradually beat in flour mixture until soft dough forms. Shape dough in ball; flatten to 3/4" thickness. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 15 minutes* until firm.
On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to desired thickness. Bake until edges are golden. Let stand 2 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and cool completely.
*Note: You MUST be able to roll and cut the dough after the 15 minute refrigeration time, or it will set up too much and won't roll out well. This dough is a dream to work with. You'll love it.
Another recipe I use is from Martha Stewart. You just can't go wrong with Martha's recipes!
Sugar Cookie Cutouts
•4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
•2 cups granulated sugar
•2 large eggs
•2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with a 4-inch one-piece-shaped cookie cutter. To make an ornament, cut out a hole from the center of the neck about 1/4-inch from the edge using a straw. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
I just tried this recipe just the other day and I love it! We had finally gotten some cooler weather and it just felt like Fall so I thought I would try it. I got it from Bake at 350 (one of my FAVORITE cookie blogs! Bridget is amazing! I feel like we're on a first name basis because I love to read her blog. And I've asked her a few cookie questions and she is just so sweet!) This recipe also allows the cookies to really keep their shape, even the cookies with small details.
Here is her recipe for Brown sugar and spice cookies
3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 c granulated sugar (I use sugar that I've stored vanilla beans in)
1/2 c light brown sugar (packed)
2 sticks butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and spices, set aside.
Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix until well-blended.
Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom. (The dough will be quite thick...you may need to knead in stray bits of flour from the bottom of the bowl by hand.)
Roll on a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cutter. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.
I hope this helps! Really, any basic sugar cookie recipe will work. I have experimented with different recipes and these are my favorites.
I'm working on a cookie decorating"tutorial" so hopefully I'll get that done soon!