Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mom's Famous Sugar Cookies!

For anyone who's had my mom's sugar cookie recipe they know exactly what I'm talking about - these are the best sugar cookies out there! The key to the recipe is not rolling your dough out too thin and also, not baking the cookies too long because they will keep cooking once they come out of the oven. The recipe card above is one of my favorites - I have my own at my apt, but whenever I'm in NH at my parent's house and pull out this recipe card, it reminds me of all the times we've baked these cookies! The other great thing about these is that you can decorate based on the event or holiday.

Most recently I wanted to make some festive holiday cookies for winter so I opted for a pink cookie batter and used cookie cutters in various shapes - my stocking one is one of my favorites, but I also love this mitten shaped cookie cutter!
Last year I think I made my most impressively decorated holiday sugar cookies yet - so I might have to top them this year!

1 stick butter                         1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar                           1/2 tsp salt
1 egg                                     2 cups flower
1 TB milk
1 tsp almond extract
1. Cream the butter (which should be at room temp) and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg, milk and almond extract next and mix again until combined. Scrape down the sides. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, whisk together and then add it slowly to the wet ingredients. Combine well, scraping down the batter as necessary. Be sure not to over mix.
2. Always better to add your food coloring very slowly, drop by drop, because you will most likely need less than you imagine. A little food coloring goes a long way. Case in point - I definitely did not mean to make pepto pink cookies. Oops. You don't have to add food coloring, especially if you're planning to decorate with frosting and sprinkles - but I think the color is fun!
3. Refrigerate your dough for at least an hour, wrapped in saran wrap in a ball or flat disk. If you try to roll it out immediately - the dough will just stick to your rolling pin.
4. Use plenty of flour when rolling out. Both on the rolling pin and the counter top. Don't roll the dough out too much, because the cookies are better a little doughy and not thin and crunchy - or at least, in my opinion that's how they're best.
5. It's important to add the sprinkles BEFORE baking, unless you are planning to decorate with frosting. That way, the sprinkles bake right into the top layer and won't fall off when you put the cookies away. Bake at 375 degrees for no more than 5-7 minutes! Really! You're going to think that they're undercooked and need more time - but I swear they won't! They will continue cooking and harden a bit more as they cool, I promise!
Note: These take FOREVER to decorate!

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