Welcome back to my 12 Days of Christmas Treats!
Day 2: Nikita’s Sugar Cookies!
You’ve tried the rest, now try the best! These are my most favourite sugar cookies, ever! I bake them year round for special occasions (Christmas, Easter, even once for a wedding!), and they’re always gone lickedy-split! Good thing this recipe makes minimum 5 dozen 😉
With their crisp bottoms, and puffy tops, these cookies will be your new special occasion go-to! They’re great to make with children, and the recipe makes a lot, so you’ll be set for the holidays!
Side note: I didn’t include an icing recipe because everyone’s taste in icing is different. For these cookies, I mixed 3 cups of icing sugar with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice until smooth. I spread it on with a butter knife and decorated.
Second side note: I hate icing cookies and cakes. It’s such meticulous work, and while I always start with pretty cookies, I just don’t care after a few dozen. This perfectly captures what I mean:
Maybe one day I’ll have the patience to make them all gorgeous. Until then, ah well.
Please note: it is very important that you make sure to read all of the directions before you begin. There are a few imperative steps that cannot be skipped.
- 1 and 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 5 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch salt
- In large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In mixer with paddle attachment (or in large bowl by hand with a wooden spoon), cream together butter and sugar on high until smooth. Approximately 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on med-high until smooth. Approximately 2 minutes. Note: dough is sticky. Ensure to scrape down sides of the bowl a few times.
- Gradually add dry ingredients, and mix on low until just combined. Note: dough will still be sticky. This is normal.
- Form dough into rough ball, wrap in plastic (or place in airtight container), place in fridge, and chill for minimum 2 hours. Overnight is better (to a maximum of 48 hours). This step is imperative. You must chill the dough until it is very firm, or your cookies will melt all over the tray.
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Remove dough from fridge, and cut in half. The dough should be very firm. If it is not, refrigerate another hour.
- Re-wrap one half and place back in fridge until needed. Knead other half until slightly warmer, and a little pliable. Roll out on lightly floured, flat surface until 1/4" to 1/2" thick. Cut out desired shapes, and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper or similar.
- Bake 6-8 Minutes, until edges brown slightly. Cool completely before decorating.
- The longer the dough sits at room temperature, the stickier it gets, the more difficult to peel shapes off the surface, and the more likely to lose its structure once in the oven. Aim to keep dough cool up until bake time.
- I like my sugar cookies thick and puffy, but my hubby likes them thin and crunchy. Thinner rolled dough will bake more quickly, and yield more cookies. The opposite is true for a thicker rolled dough.
- These cookies freeze well baked, or as unbaked cutouts. If baked, they will last up to 2 months frozen.
- If unbaked, cut shapes out, place in freezer-proof container ensuring they don't touch (I suggest wax paper between layers). They last up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove from freezer and bake right away, adding an extra minute or two to bake time.
- I do not suggest freezing raw dough before it has been rolled and cut.