My focus this month has been sweets. I’m not usually the biggest fan of sweets and treats but something about Christmastime moves me to the sweet side of the food spectrum. Since I am all about the sweet, I am all about being in the kitchen, whipping up cookies, bars, cakes and anything sweet.
December is also my son’s birthday so on top of planning for Christmas, you will usually find me deep in birthday party mode. In addition to his birthday party, he manages to talk me into making and sending a treat for his whole class so they can celebrate at school too. The treat he ALWAYS asks for is sugar cookies so year after year, after I have planned and pulled off a party for a herd of holiday crazed, sugar high children, I will retreat to the kitchen to give kids even more sugar. I bet the other parents just love me;)
This sugar cookie recipe is a basic one that has been adapted from a few I’ve tried over the years. I’m generally dashing through my days when these need to get made, so I don’t love the ones where you need to let the dough chill for hours on end so my basic one does not require any chill time. It gives us a good cookie with a little crunch and gives us more time to soak in all the Christmas!
Starter Sugar Cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour | Makes: 36-45 cookies
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cut butter into chunks and put into a stand mixer or large bowl. Beat until butter is creamy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently during mixing to ensure all butter is creamed
- Add sugar and mix until well combined
- Add one egg and mix until well combined. Repeat with second egg
- Add pure vanilla extract, baking powder, salt and about 1 1/2 cup of the flour and mix well to combine
- Add remaining flour and mix well until all ingredients are fully combined and dough no longer has any lumps or crumble to it
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Lightly flour a flat work surface and divide the dough in half
- Roll out one half of dough to desired thickness (I prefer about 1/4 inch or thinner) and using cookie cutters, cut out desired cookie shapes. If the cookies are sticking to the cookie cutter, pour a bit of flour into a small bowl and dip the cookie cutter in the flour mixture between cuts to keep the dough where it belongs
- Place cookies on a parchment lined or well greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet 180 degrees halfway through bake time
- Cookies are done when the bottoms begin to brown and the very edges have a hint of gold
- Allow cookies to sit on the cookie sheet for 1-3 minutes to harden a bit, then move to wire cooling rack.
- Cool cookies completely before frosting or decorating
- Decorate cookies using your preferred icing, sprinkles or frosting or just enjoy as is!
- This recipe is made using unsalted butter so I highly recommend you do not substitute margarine as this will affect the taste and texture of the cookie. This time of year, real butter is on sale due to all the baking. I tend to stock up so I can have real butter without the sting of paying so much for it!
- These cookie are great all year round! We love to make Valentine cutouts, Easter cutouts, Summer cutouts, Halloween cutouts, and Thanksgiving cutouts. So don’t let Christmas have all the fun! If they make a cookie cutter for it, it’s a holiday that can use these cookies!