*****UPDATE** MAY 2013*****************************************
I am now using a new recipe, so I crossed out the old one below.
The new recipe is just as tasty, but a little easier to work with. The baking tips below still apply, but the directions have been modified a bit.
Here is a printable link!
For my buttercream frosting (outline) recipe, go here .
So I just realized the original post with my sugar cookie receipe was simply a link to the creator’s blog page with the recipe. AND the link is no longer correct because she moved to a new domain or something… and when I tried to find it on her new site, I couldn’t find the exact same recipe. Good thing I had it memorized!
So without further ado, here is the recipe I use religiously… along with the way I like to do things. I am a bit odd, so feel free to change things up however you want when you try it for yourself!
Sugar Cookies – from iambaker Ingredients: 1 1/2 sticks butter – this part is very important I will come back to this! 1 cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 1 1/2 tsp vanilla 2 1/2 cups flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
I’m going to do some basic baking tips now before I go into the directions… Things like this are second nature to some, but others may have missed the memo so I thought I would go over some basics to help out baker virgins!
I use salted. Some people prefer to bake with unsalted butter.. I generally don’t unless a recipe specifically says it. I don’t know how much it matters here, so use whatever you prefer.
Butter should be room temperature. This does not mean goopy (that’s a technical term), and it definitely does not mean melty. I’d say it should be out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (Still shaped like a stick of butter, just not rock hard.) Alternatively, you can cheat like I usually do! I take the butter directly out of the fridge and cut it into pats – thinish slices.
Then I half each of the pats so they’re small chunks, and then throw them right into the mixing bowl. Smaller size = greater surface area = it gets soft faster.
If a recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of sugar, it’s easy to scoop with the measuring scoop, see that it’s level with the top, and that’s it.
With other dry ingredients, it’s not as easy, but still easy. Take flour for instance, because you usually need so much of it.
Scoop a heaping scoop with your measuring cup, then with the back of a knife (the flat side), run it across the top of the measuring cup. Should be perfectly level. The same works for baking powder and cream of tartar.
Most recipes will say “sifted” flour. I don’t sift. Sorry. Never ever ever do I sift. Guess what? I don’t even have a sifter. I’m doomed, I know.
Brown sugar: There isn’t any brown sugar in my sugar cookies, but I wanted to touch on it since I am doing measuring tips. Brown sugar is measured in recipes as “packed.” For example, a recipe will say 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. This means you have to literaly pack down the brown sugar into the measuring cup. I usually push it down with my fingers, then scoop up more and push that down too.
Once it’s heaped, use the back of the knife to “chop” downward on top of the measuring cup (loosening everything that’s heaped up), then run the back of the knife over the top like with the flour.
It should leave a perfectly level packed measuring cup.
Okay, on to the Directions: 1. Measure sugar and dump into large mixing bowl (or bowl of stand mixer). 2. Drop butter on top. If you used my chunked cold butter technique, try to spread it out as much as possible. With an electric mixer (or paddle attachment on stand mixer), beat sugar and butter until “fluffy.” That’s the word recipes always use. I don’t think it’s fluffy, but it’s mixed together well and kind of looks like snow. 3. Add eggs and vanilla. I always break my eggs into a small bowl and then dump it in, but that’s just me. I’m scared of egg shell fragments. Don’t over mix, just get everything together as best as possible. 4. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mixer beaters (or paddle) then mix again to incorporate. 5. In a separate medium bowl, measure out the flour, then the salt, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Mix them all together a bit. 6. Now you want to very slowly add the flour stuffs. If you’re using a hand mixer, I would say add a little, mix, stop mixer, add a little more, etc. You don’t want flying flour. When your mixer doesn’t want to mix anymore because it’s too doughy, switch to your hands. If you’re using a stand mixer, use the spill shield and slowly add the flour and let it incorporate before adding more. I like to keep it on speed 4. When it started to get too thick and doughy, it will slow down a bit, but I’ve never had a problem. If there is a little flour at the end (or in the bottom of the bowl) just mix it in by hand. 7. The dough will be very sticky. Scoop it all out of the bowl directly onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap it up well and throw it in the fridge or the freezer. I like using the freezer, it just needs a little bit of time to soften before you can roll it. (If you are just doing something like this, the fridge is fine and you only need it to chill for about 30 minutes.) 8. Once the dough is chilled, you can roll and cut with cookie cutters, roll it in balls and stick it with sprinkles, or dye it. (This dough is very sticky. Use as much flour as needed, it will not effect the outcome of your cookies.) When I roll and use cutters, I prefer to roll very thin. Like less than 1/8 of an inch. Another reason I am doomed, I know. It’s just my preference though. (I like my icing to be almost as thick as the cookie itself!) For rolled cookies, I highly recommend using parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Switching from nothing to parchment changed my life. It can be reused a couple times, but when it starts to get crinkly throw it out, it will make your cookies warped. 9. Time to bake! For thin rolled cookies like mine, I do 7 minutes at 350. If you do the balls of cookies or the swirly dyed cookies, add a minute or two, depending on how crispy you like your cookies.