Is there anything more iconic to the holidays than cookies? I love making cookies. It’s so humbling, yet the creativity options are endless. Don’t have much time? Make some quick chocolate chip. Feeling like chocolate? Sables are the way to go. Feeling nostalgic? Time for my Nana’s Italian White Cookies, flavored with anise and decorated with sprinkles.
The holidays, and winter in general always compels me to make sugar cookies. After baking every day for so long the seasons demand I make certain products. All the chocolate things in February, Stout Cake in March, Carrot Cake for Easter. I love sugar cookies. The steps are easy, but making decorated cookies takes a plan. The dough needs to be made ahead and chilled (it can even be frozen), you need to lan out your royal icing (and care for it in process), and the royal icing needs to dry and set before they can be sold to the public. At home, you can eat them whenever of course.
This dough is simple, friendly, straightforward. Be creative and add spices and flavors and make it into a simple tea biscuit. Or be ambitious and make intricate decorated cookies to share and impress. They will all taste delicious.
Be sure to stick to cake four as the recipe calls for. Cake flour has lower protein and thus keeps the dough from over mixing and becoming tough.
Rolled Sugar Cookies
1C (2 sticks) Butter, soft
1 1/2 C Sugar
1/4 C Milk
1 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
4 1/2 C Cake flour
4t Baking powder
Making the dough:
Measure dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together
Combine milk and vanilla extract, add to butter mixture
Add dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms
Flatten the dough into a disk
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm
Preheat oven to 350F
Roll the dough out to about a ¼ inch thickness
(it will help to flour your work surface lightly)
Cut into desired shapes and arrange onto a cookie sheet
Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just barely browned
Allow to fully cool if icing.
**Dough may be kept in the refrigerator for 1 week or frozen up to 1 month. Rolled and cut cookies may also be kept unbaked and wrapped in the refrigerator or freezer. Thaw frozen dough/ cookies in the refrigerator overnight before baking ***
Professional size recipe makes one full sheet pan of dough – lots of cookies!