This is a tried and true old-fashioned sugar cookie recipe from a wonderful old neighbor who gave them out every Christmas. This is now our family recipe, Judy's Sugar Cookies (or Mom's sugar cookies to the kids).
Judy's recipe makes the heavenly sugar cookies, filled with flavor that melts in your mouth. They're the ones you can't stop eating and are perfect for any occasion. It's a great recipe, especially if you don't want to roll them out and use cookie cutters. While they roll out beautifully they bake wonderfully as easy drop sugar cookies.
For perfect rolled sugar cookies, try Karen's sugar cookie recipe right below this one. They also taste amazing, with the added bonus of not leaving half the dough stuck to the counter and the rolling pin. For anyone that has struggled with getting dough to roll out and having the cookies come off the cutters easily (and looking like the shape you want it to look like)...you can't go wrong with Karen's Rolled Sugar Cookie Recipe.
Be sure to read the tips for perfect sugar cookies right after the recipes!
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter (softened at room temperature)
1 egg, lightly beaten (egg should be at room temperature)
3 Tablespoons half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) .
2. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
3. Cut in butter and blend with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
4. With a fork, stir in lightly beaten egg, vanilla and half-and-half. Blend well with fork, then your hands to ensure thorough blending. Chill dough for one hour for easier rolling.
****If you are not rolling the dough, chill for 15 minutes then skip to step 6 for baking.
5. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes.
6. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sugar or leave plain for decorating with icing.
7. Bake for 6 - 7 minutes, or until lightly brown.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and sugars until smooth.
2. Slowly add vegetable oil.
3. Add eggs, one at a time; then vanilla.
4. Add flour, 1 cup at a time until blended.
5. Add baking soda, salt and cream of tartar.
6. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour.
7. Roll chilled dough out on a generously sugared surface (to about a 1/4" thickness).
8. Using cookie cutters or a clean round drinking glass, cut out into desired shapes.
9. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden brown).
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
assorted food coloring colors
1. In a small bowl, stir together the milk and confectioners sugar until smooth.
2. Beat in corn syrup and the vanilla extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If the icing is too thick, add additinal corn syrup to thin slightly.
3. Divide the icing into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to the preferred color intensity. Paint the icing onto the cookies or pipe with decorator icing tubes and tips.
4. Top with candy decorator balls, holiday sprinkles or any other festive design. Enjoy, these are as much fun to decorate as they are to eat!
The following are sure fire tips for the perfect sugar cookies:
* If you are rolling the dough to use cookie cutters, remember to keep the dough chilled. As it warms it sticks to the rolling pin and the surface you're rolling on.
* The thinner you roll your dough, the crispier the cookie will be. This recipe calls for rolling the dough 1/4 inch thick, which makes them soft with just the right amount of crispness around the outside of the cookie.
* Soften the butter at room temperature for about an hour or two before mixing. Butter that isn't softened won't mix properly and your cookies will be flat. Do not microwave butter to soften, it will soften unevenly.
* The eggs should also be room temperature. Cold eggs can cause the batter to curdle.
* Halfway through the baking process, take a minute to rotate the baking sheets from back to front for even baking. This step is worth it to prevent unevenly baked batches of cookies.
* If you are making more than one batch, do not put the dough on hot cookie sheets. It will spread as you're placing the dough on the sheet, and baking will be uneven.
* The brand of flour makes a difference. Gold Medal or Pillsbury flours are lower-protein. King Arthur flour is higher protein which produces slightly drier, cakier cookies.
* If you want extra dough, this sugar cookie recipe freezes well. You can freeze the dough for about four weeks as long as it is tightly wrapped.