A good sugar cookie is something everyone needs at some point. This recipe fits the bill for both types of occasions. The ones when you want to turn cookie baking into an all-day marathon of rolling, cutting baking, and decorating, and the other kind when you just need some nice buttery cookies for an occasion that you mix up and bake easily. And how about the in-between kind when you want to decorate, but not roll and cut out? A good cookie recipe like this one and. Royal icing is all you need for the sliding scale of all sugar cookie occasions. Egg white mixed with water and sugar is royal icing. In other words, edible super glue or edible caulk. Keep a can of powdered egg white (also called meringue powder) in the cupboard for this–it will last seemingly forever. It’s safer than fresh egg white in an uncooked recipe like this because there’s no danger of salmonella.
Here’s the thing. Make the icing like a thin glue and smear on the cookies for the easiest method. Then your sprinkles will stay on. Make the icing thick and add coloring and you’ve got the right stuff for piping. Make the icing somewhere in between and you can flood your way to happiness. It can be whatever you need according to the amount of powdered sugar you add. You’ll get the hang of it. I think it must be about the same for masons that mix up the mortar. They just know how it’s supposed to feel.
Lastly, I’ll say it again. If you see yourself as an aspiring avid baker, then do yourself a favor and invest in a cheap canvas pastry cloth. It makes rolling out biscuit dough, cookies, pastry so much easier and neater. And it will only set you back less than ten bucks.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Heat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and blend well. Add the salt and vanilla. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Fold in on low speed until well blended. Refrigerate to chill the dough 30 minutes or so if you have time. I've had plenty of success without the chilling. On a floured surface (pastry cloth comes in handy here), roll out the dough in manageable batches to an 1/8th inch thickness. Cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 10 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Decorate any way you like. Makes about 4 dozen smallish cookies.
To make drop cookies, decrease the flour to 3 cups. Scoop into heaping teaspoonfuls and roll into balls and pat out slightly on the cookie sheets.