This holiday season I went on a hunt to find the perfect sugar cookie recipe. This was by no means an easy task since cookbooks and blogs alike are littered with recipes purporting to be the best sugar cookie. I settled on making a few adaptations to a recipe I found on Allrecipes that had a whopping 5,897 reviews with a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.
There are a few things that I really like about this recipe. So often sugar cookies are bland and tasteless, and when this happens we rely on cloyingly sweet frosting to make up for this deficit. These cookies pack an extra punch of flavor with both vanilla and lemon extract. Many times when I’ve worked with sugar cookies the dough was simply too warm to roll out and cut shapes. I’ve found that the best solution is to simply refrigerate the dough overnight. Many recipes say you can get by with only an hour or two, but I haven’t found this to be the case. It’s best to just plan ahead and make the dough the night before.
I know this recipe comes a little belatedly for any holiday cooking, but I hope that you tuck this one away. This will certainly be my new "go-to" recipe for all things sugar cookie related! On a different note, I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas. Matt and I are finishing up our drive to Minnesota today. I wish safe travels to all of you that are traveling for the holiday. I’m signing off until 2014, so I hope that your New Year’s is wonderful as well!
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Makes approximately 5 dozen
1 ½ cups butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Form dough into two balls, cover with plastic wrap, and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to ¼-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
Heather’s Helpful Hints
This recipe has a built-in trick that I really love. Instead of using flour when you roll out your cookie dough, the recipe calls for powdered sugar. This solves the problem that has always plagued my baking which is caked-on four after rolling out your cookie dough. I think this tip is ingenious! After all, no one’s going to complain if there’s a little extra powdered sugar on the bottom of their cookie.