Sugar Cookies

The Christmas season is just around the corner. Yes, Christmas not just the holiday season. Mental reminder was to post on bakes for Christmas as well as searching for photos that I had taken recently or even years back.

This recipe was taken from Cooking.com which does not seem to be a ‘secure’ site as of today. Therefore, to give credit the actual title for this recipe on Cooking.com website was Holiday Ornament Sugar Cookies by Maureen Luchejko for Cooking.com

Of many different Sugar Cookies recipes that I’ve tried, this is the one that I come back to most of the time.

I know most blogs will feature the advise at the end of the recipe, but I would like to break away from the norm and say this – pack the completed dough into separate resealable aka Ziplock bags overnight. So if you plan to make these cookies, prepare the dough a day ahead!

Ingredients:

For Cookies :

2 1/4 cups plain/all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2-sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup white sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence

For Icing: Royal Icing

4 cups icing sugar

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons meringue powder

Decorations:

Food colouring in your desired colours (blue for snowflakes, red for Santa, etc)

Sprinkles – coloured sugar, dragees, chocolate chips, etc

Ribbon – 3-5mm (1/8″) wide ribbon (holiday motifs, red, blue, green, gold, etc), cut to 7.5cm (6″) lengths

Straw, drinking for creating the hole for threading the ribbon

Method:

  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly mix so the baking powder/soda is evenly spread throughout. Tip – combine in a plastic bag, shake very well, set aside for use.
  • Beat butter & sugar till light and creamy on medium speed. Like you would with a cake.
  • Add the the egg & vanilla extract/essence and beat till light and fluffy. You can either maintain at medium speed or high speed.
  • Add in the flour mixture at intervals on slow speed, or ‘stir’ function till all the flour mixture is incorporated (used up!).
  • Divide into 3 or 4 portions, doesn’t have to be exact. Place each portion into a plastic bag or ziplock bag. Keep in the fridge overnight or a minimum of 30 minutes or when easy to handle.

Ready to bake?

  • Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF)
  • Line 2-large baking sheets with baking paper or parchment or silicone baking mats.
  • Take out 1 portion of cookie dough and roll out to about 5mm (1/4″) thickness.

For easier handling, place the cookie dough between 2 pieces of waxed or parchment paper. Baking paper works too. If you are rolling out on a surface, remember to flour the surface so it is easier to ‘lift’ or remove the cookie for placing on the baking sheet. DO NOT THROW AWAY the bag for the cookie dough, you will want to reuse it.

  • Cut out the cookie using your desired holiday shapes. Or like what I did, use a round cutter. Please dip the cookie cutter in some flour before cutting out the dough. Place cookie cutout onto the baking sheet with a spatula or some turner. Place them about 2.5cm (1″) apart to allow for ‘growth expansion’ during baking.
  • Re-roll the scraps and use up the dough. If the dough starts to get too soft to handle, put it back into the bag & place it in the fridge.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough until the baking sheets are filled.
  • Use the straw and make a hole at the top of your cookie. It is easier to discard the centers then to reuse them.
  • Bake the cookies for about 10 – 12 minutes or when the edges are lightly browned at the edges. If you are baking both sheets at the same time, rotate the sheets at the halfway mark of the baking time, i.e. 5 minutes. In other words, Top shelf goes to bottom shelf and vice versa. Turn left to right, the baking sheet as this will help to ensure that the baking is even unless you are using convection baking.
  • Leave cookies to cool about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack or wire racks. The cookies must be completely cool not warm before you start icing them.

Preparing to Ice

  • While the cookies are cooling on the racks, time to prepare the icing. This recipe uses the mixer, so please make sure that it is grease free. Tip – wipe the mixing bowl with white vinegar helps to remove any remaining grease.
  • Beat icing sugar, water & meringue powder on medium speed until soft peaks form. This will take a few minutes, maybe 5 minutes.
  • Press cling wrap on top of the icing and cover with a dish towel. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. If you do, it will harden.
  • When you are ready to ice the cookies, remember the cookies must be cool to the touch. Separate portions of icing into bowls for each colour that you want to use. Always add one drop of the colour at a time, mix and add if you want a darker colour.
  • Spread or ice the cookies as preferred. Decorate with dragees or coloured sugars as you desire.
  • When the icing is dry, thread the ribbon through the hole and your ornament is done.

TIP: You can also go into Wilton website for tips and recipes for icing as well as how to ice

 

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