Friday, February 4, 2011

5 Tips to Great Sugar Cookies

I love traditions. One tradition that comes with each and every holiday around here is the making, decorating and packaging (not to mention consuming) of homemade sugar cookies. I love everything about making sugar cookies. I picked up a recipe along the way somewhere, and have changed bits and pieces here and there to get my sugar cookies just the way I like them!

So today, I thought I would share with you...
5 Tips to Great Sugar Cookies
1) Find the perfect recipe. Here is the one I have used to make literally HUNDREDS of yummy cookies:
1 1/2 cups butter (soften)
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (best not to use imitation)
5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (optional, I vote no most of the time!)

Cream the butter and sugar together til smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour,
baking powder and salt. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or more.
Bake at 400 degrees F (or 200 degrees C) for 6-8 minutes.

2)Don't preheat the oven. Ok, am I scaring you yet? I know there are a lot of methods to keep your first batch of cookies from burning, but the quickest and easiest is no preheating. It never fails, if I forget this little rule of thumb my first cookies come out crispy with nice dark bottoms. Trust me, you'll live and learn on this one.

3)Roll your dough and cut your cookies thick. I roll my dough out around 1/2 inch thick. It sounds crazy, but it makes for extremely soft and delicious cookies!

4) Never cook your cookies the whole 6-8 minutes. What? I know, I sound crazier by the minute. Here is my thinking on this tip. THE BEST sugar cookies are perfectly fluffly and soft all the way through right? The minute you over cook, even by 30 seconds, a brown ring forms on the bottom of your cookies and you have taken just a little bit of goodness out of them. So, watch your cookies at the 4 minute mark. Depending on how hot your oven has remained, this might be all the cooking time you need a few batches in.

Worried about undercooking? Well that is simple to monitor as well. If your cookies appear slightly darker in the center, as though they are moist, pop them back in the oven for 1 minute increments.

5)Make your own icing. I love to glaze my cookies with powdered sugar icing. It is a sweet, simple icing that is BIG on taste. It brings the sweetness of the cookies to life. Creating this icing is kind of guess and check process. You can find a good standard recipe here, but I tend to guess and check quite a bit! Be sure to add just the right color to make your cookies stand out!

This year I decided to use my new silhouette to package the cookies! I love the way they turned out. I simply typed up my design and printed it on some fun scrapbook paper. Done and done!

Just be sure to not get too carried away with the packaging, I am sure one of your little sweeties and you will want to eat a few too! Enjoy!
Happy Baking!


Jenny @ February 4, 2011 at 5:50 AM  

Thank you for the extra tips & not just the recipe. I love cooking but seem to be awful at baking...and your tips just gave me a clue as to why. I had no idea to not pre-heat an oven & not bake things as long as they say. I sincerely appreciate it!

Tiffany February 4, 2011 at 6:49 AM  

Thanks for the great tips! And your packaging is just adorable!

deramey February 4, 2011 at 7:23 AM  

You inspire me! Your cookies look so yummy!

Katie@a mom, a wife, and a me February 4, 2011 at 10:17 AM  

Want another little tip I just learned? toss them in the freezer on the baking sheet for four minutes before you toss them in to cook.. they will hold their shape perfectly!

Jenna February 4, 2011 at 10:43 AM  

Definitely bookmarking this post! Great tips!

Erin A February 4, 2011 at 1:52 PM  

I can't wait to try this, including the crazy suggestions!! I've tried 4 different sugar cookie recipes the past few years and none compare to yours, thanks for sharing!!

Our Family February 10, 2011 at 1:11 PM  

I made these cookies yesterday with my little girl and they are delicious! We've already gotten compliments! Thanks!

Unknown February 13, 2011 at 8:42 PM  

These indeed are perfect!! I baked them today with my two little guys... I didn't even ice them yet and they are so so yummy!! Thank you:)

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