Holiday Treat: How to Make Rolled Sugar Cookies
Everybody appreciates homemade holiday cookies. This recipe for rolled sugar cookies can be cut with any holiday-themed cookie cutters or cut into circles and decorated with simple sprinkles or food coloring. Sometimes the best gifts aren't store-bought; they're the ones you make or bake with your own hands.
Rolled Sugar Cookies
For this recipe, you need an electric mixer or food processor, a rolling pin, cookie cutters, and a paper pastry cone for icing (optional).
Preparation time: 1-1/2 hours
Cook time: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 dozen
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 cup superfine sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar and superfine sugar to the butter and blend well.
2In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with the vanilla extract. Add it to the butter mixture and blend well.
3Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix well. Add it to the butter mixture in three stages, blending well after each addition. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and chill it at least 2 hours.
4Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
5Divide the dough in two and roll each section between sheets of lightly floured wax paper to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Gently peel off the wax paper and use a variety of cookie cutters to shape the dough.
6Transfer the cookies to the cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between the cookies. If desired, sprinkle crystal sugar or nonpareils (tiny, multicolored sugar pellets) over the cookies.
7Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies are firm. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and transfer the cookies from the parchment to cooling racks. Decorate as you like.
To make the dough in a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, superfine sugar, and confectioners' sugar in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse briefly to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl. Pulse until the butter is cut into tiny pieces.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with the vanilla and add it to the butter mixture. Pulse until the dough forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for 2 hours. Then pick up with Step 4 of the recipe.
You can turn these into ornaments by using a straw to poke out a hole near the top before baking. After they're cool, string a decorative ribbon through the hole.