It has been pretty cold and snowy in Washington, DC this week, and there's something about that weather that makes me want to bake! I am a huge fan of Bridget's blog Bake at 350, and wanted to try her sugar cookie recipe. Here it is, taken from her website:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 sticks salted butter, cold and cut into chunks
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.
The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.
Roll on a floured surface to about 1/4" to 3/8" thick, and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (she recommends freezing the shapes on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.
What I love about this recipe is that you can use cold butter! You don't have to plan it out ahead of time, which is fantastic, because I usually get the urge to bake at 11:00 at night. I didn't have any almond extract, so I just skipped it.
It's a crumbly dough, and I had a hard time getting it to come together, even after kneading it, so I added another tablespoon of butter, and that helped immensely.
Bridget uses royal icing and flooding icing beautifully, but I used the regular sugar cookie icing that is my standby, because it's much simpler. To color the icing, I used Wilton gel colors Royal Blue and Teal, with a tiny dab of black. I just messed around with the colors until I found one that I liked, and I ended up with a turquoise that is similar to a Tiffany blue.
When the cookies were all iced, they seemed to be missing something, so I piped "pearls" around the outside, and I think they're really pretty.
Have fun baking, and stay warm!
- Sugar Baby