I think we’ve already established that I’m not very good at keeping secrets.
Silly me. My rule to never tell which recipe I use for sugar cookies was doomed from the beginning. One reason I kept it hush-hush, is because I have a small Etsy-based business from which I sell artfully decorated sugar cookies. I have recently come to the realization, that people are not paying me for the cookie portion, but for the aforementioned decoration. I recently shared this recipe with a reader, and it made me very happy to do so.
The recipe itself is not a secret. Some of you may be using it already. If so, then you already know how this dough bakes up to be so very buttery and delicious. There are other recipes that are considered better for professional decorating, (ie. flatter surface) but the taste is unsurpassed. I don’t mind working around a minor imperfection for such delicious results.
My Favorite Sugar Cookie Dough
This was once my “secret recipe” for Sugar Cookies. I’m not very good at secrets, and it’s much more fun to share anyway.
3 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
In a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. On low speed, gradually add dry mixture to wet mixture. Dough will be very stiff. Wrap or cover dough and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, knead dough a few times. This will help cut-outs keep their shape while baking. Roll out dough to ¼” to ½” thickness while it is still cold. Use cookie cutters for desired shapes. Bake for 7-9 minutes, depending on thickness of dough. Cool completely
This dough should be kneaded a little after chilling. Incorporating just a bit more flour into the dough helps the cookies hold their cut shape. You still want your snowflake to look like a snowflake, and not bake into a blob. This will help.Tips and Tricks:
- Cut the dough in two after chilling. Work with one portion and leave the other portion in the refrigerator to stay cold. This will also help with the shape issue.
- The softened butter should still be just a little cool to the touch, and not completely room temperature. Warm, or room temperature butter will make your dough extremely sticky. It’s a bit harder to work with.
- Bake on parchment paper. It makes life so much easier in the long-run. No sticking, easier clean up… it’s something that I can’t live without.
Christmas is just around the corner, and if you’d like to treat Santa to something extra special, then you may want to give this very simple, but very delicious recipe a try. (This recipe yields about 4 to 5 dozen if using 3″ or 4″ cookie cutters.) Note: Photography by Morgan Trinker. And, cookies by me… (of course)