Here it is, the very last week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies party, so it's only appropriate that I've saved the most festive of all cookie recipes for our last link-up. They're soft and tender, with a buttery vanilla crumb, and they make your kitchen smell heavenly for hours! A bit of rolling, a bit of cutting, and a slick of icing and you can transform them into any seasonal shape - they're sugar cookies, of course!
Every family has a go-to recipe for sugar cookies, and ours comes from my littlest sister (who, at 20, really isn't that 'little' anymore). Her recipe turns out thick, tender cookies that take shape very well and can by cooked as soft or crispy as you like. Of course, because I have a powerful sweet tooth and a love of vanilla, I add a bit extra of each to my sister's recipe. Go big or go home, right? But for those of you who aren't quite as sweet-addicted, I've marked my changes on the recipe below. Make these your go-to sugar cookie recipe this Christmas - you won't regret it!
The Best Sugar Cookies, Ever
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar (the original recipe calls for 2 cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (1 tsp in the original)
5 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
lemon zest (optional, my addition)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and add vanilla. stir until well blended. Gradually add in the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until incorporated. Cover dough and chill for at least one hour (or overnight). Roll out to 1/4 - 1/2-inch thickness, on a well-floured surface. Cut into shapes and place, 1 inch apart, on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes until edges just begin to turn golden (watch them closely because the edges burn easily, especially when rolled thin). Cool completely before icing.
The Best Sugar Cookie Icing (aka Better Than Royal Icing)
This is my little sister's icing recipe - with absolutely no changes. It's delicious, takes color well and is easy to decorate with. I sometimes add a bit of almond extract for a slightly different flavor.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk (can be adjusted to provide the desired consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Cream butter, corn syrup, and powdered sugar together in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in milk, vanilla and confectioners sugar. Add almond extract, if desired, and additional milk, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency.
|We make camels to remember our deployed friends at Christmas - plus, they're really cute!|
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