Now I really like my recipe. It isn't too sweet, in fact it's rather buttery which I love. And has a soft texture. Not a super soft cookie but not a crisp cookie. So if you like 'em crisp you wont like mine.
I warn you, it isn't ground breaking...I mean there's only so many ways to make sugar cut outs. And it isn't diet friendly. But it is delicious.
So here it is....
My sugar cookie recipe.
Cut Out Sugar Cookies
4 1/2 sticks of SALTED butter, cold (or at least kinda chilled)
2 C granulated white sugar, unleveled (just scoop)
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 lb 12 oz all purpose unbleached flour (yes, weight it!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
*Optional: Additional flavoring like Princess Cake and Cookie Bakery Emulsion
Take your butter out of your fridge and cut it into TBSP sized pieces. I use salted, which I know a lot of bakers view as sacrilege, but it brings out the butter flavor. Put it in your stand mixer with your Beater Blade attached. Turn it on....start low and gradually increase the speed till your butter starts getting knocked around the bowl but not flying out of it at your face! Just let it go on a relatively high speed for a minute while you go get your sugar...it will whip and start to get fluffy. Then you have cold whipped butter. Cold butter = chilled dough through the whole process. Chilled dough spreads less. It's more difficult to over whip cold butter, which you want to avoid. Trust me on this one. Add your sugar and let it beat till sugar is incorporated. Add your eggs and your flavorings. Beat till well combined.
In a separate bowl add your flour. Yes, you have to weigh it. It makes a huge difference in the density of your cookie. And no, I wont tell you what 1 lb 12 oz is in cups. I don't know. I don't do it.
To your flour, add your baking powder and salt. Mix it up with a whisk. This combines it and sifts it at the same time. I hate sifting.
Now, go ahead and turn your mixer off. Very important to make sure it's off. And just dump all your dry ingredients in all at once. Then, cover your whole mixer with your towel and give it a big hug...because it needs love too....and because it seals that gap between your bowl and the top of the mixer. Now turn your mixer on and let it run. After a minute or so (you should feel the tension in your mixer change) you can take the towel off. Pay attention to your dough. You want to mix it till it's just combined. You don't want to beat it....and honestly I don't think you could...I use a beater blade through this process to help get this done effectively. It works.
Anyway, divide your dough in half. Roll each half between 2 sheets of parchment paper and put them on a large cookie sheet. Like a full sheet, without edges is best. Then pop it in the freezer. You can store it like this for a while, but if you just want cookies like now then chill for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 325 in the mean time.
Once it's chilled take it out and cut your shapes. You should just be able to pick them up with your hands when they're cut. Put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment. I just reuse the parchment paper I used to roll out the dough. I use 4 sheets of paper to roll out. I remove the top sheet from one, place it on my cookie sheet for the oven, cut, and leave the scraps on the bottom sheet. Repeat till you have all your shapes cut So I have two sheets of parchment paper on 2 pans and 2 left behind under scraps. Combine the remaining dough and roll between the remaining sheets of parchment paper. Rechill. Recut. I would only do this once. With each roll they spread less but they also get really dense.
Once they're cut chill them again in the freezer for 15 minutes then pop them into the oven cold.
Bake for 14-16 minutes. Edges will just be turning golden ever so slightly. Let cool completely before icing. (helps prevent butter leeching)
Well there ya go. Nothing earth shattering, but it's been working pretty well for me for the last 4 years so....
Enjoy. And let me know how you like it.
**Random note: Hubs and I will be leaving for the Dominican Republic this weekend for a wedding. Follow me on Instagram for trip details and (most likely embarrassing) pictures**