Happy New Year!
Can you believe it’s already 2015? This year has definitely flown by! I’m excited to start a new year and share some more recipes and ideas with you 🙂 I apologize for not posting any Christmas recipes back in December. I made sugar cookies for a cookie exchange a few weeks ago but I never got around to blogging it. Oh well!
Yesterday I had a cookie and cupcake decorating party with my friends as a fun New Year’s celebration. I needed a simple recipe for cut-out cookies that would work great for decorating, and Sally’s Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies did the job! It worked out perfectly because I made and rolled out the dough, chilled it for about an hour (it’s necessary to chill it for at least an hour) and by that point my friends arrived. Then we cut out the dough using lots of fun cookie cutters, and decorated! We had a lot of fun making and decorating the cookies and it was a great way to spend New Years Day.
These sugar cookies are easy to whip up and great for decorating. Plus, they don’t spread in the oven and keep their shape. You can frost them using your favorite icing recipe, or you can use canned icing like we did! Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction recommended this recipe. I haven’t tried it yet but she says it’s her “all-time favorite” and it got pretty good ratings online. The important part is to be creative and have fun decorating 🙂
I hope you have a happy and healthy 2015. Happy baking!
PS. Do not be scared from the size of the recipe. It’s really simple but Sally was very thorough!
Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 large egg (room temperature is preferred)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (makes the flavor outstanding)
2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Sugar Cookie Icing
In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed and smooth – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combine, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl. Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Chilling is mandatory.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
Bake for 8-11 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
FREEZING: unfrosted cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can freeze the unbaked cookie dough before rolling for up to 3 months. Then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then allow to come to room temperature for about 1 hour. Then roll and continue with the recipe as directed.