Rolled Sugar Cookies

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I don’t usually bake anything for Valentine’s Day (I know it’s terrible especially since I’m a baker), but we had a snow day, and I had time on my hands. At first I thought about making red and pink cookies, but I wasn’t in the mood to flood large hearts and I was feeling a bit lazy with the two-part “border, then flood” process. I decided instead to make smaller cookies reminiscent of the chalky pastel colored hearts that I would get as child.

I have a great tip for cutting corners with having to chill sugar cookie dough (born out of laziness). This recipe calls for a lot of butter, so the dough tends to be a little tacky and soft and requires chilling. But, instead of chilling the dough in a ball, then rolling it out only to have it get soft again while cutting cookies, I roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper then chill the dough.

photo-2                    dough1

When it’s time for the cookie cutters, you’ll have nice clean lines, and the dough has less time to spread in the oven and the cookies have a better chance of retaining their shape.

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As a personal challenge, I decided not to border the cookies before flooding them. I haven’t decorated cookies in a couple of years and wanted to see how rusty I was. I did better than I thought, but this let’s me know I should still practice!

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Rolled Sugar Cookie

  • Servings: about 2 to 3 dozen depending on size
  • Print

Cookies:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin

Royal Icing

  • Meringue powder (Ateco or Wilton)
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Your favorite flavoring (I like lemon, peppermint, orange or vanilla extract)
  • Gel colors (I like Ateco)

Method

Make the cookies:

Whisk together flour and salt. Combine butter and sugar on medium speed in a stand or hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined. At low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half, form each piece into a 4-inch disk, and place on parchment paper. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick. Do the same with the remaining dough. Chill the dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

Cut and bake the cookies:

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut cookies with desired cookie cutter and place on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Reroll the remaining dough, chill and cut until the dough is gone.

Bake cookies until they are a pale golden-brown on edges, 10 – 15 minutes (depending on size and thickness of the cookies). Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Follow the directions on the back of the container of the meringue powder for the royal icing. Add a few drops of your flavoring. Decorate as desired.

8 comments

  1. I agree! I had a lot of trouble when I first started. You have to just have the time (and sugar) to play and experiment! For this recipe, I used half, so that’s 1/8 cup of powder, 1/4 cup of water and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. I made sure that I had nice stiff peaks before adding the confectioners’ sugar. The key to the right texture for flooding is that you want it to “ribbon”. This means, that if you take a spoon and dip it in the icing and let it drip back into the bowl, the icing will flow back and forth on top. I’m going to attach a video that should be helpful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MkLit00SNQ

  2. This is a great idea – I like them NOT being pink and red, although I love the colors.
    May I ask how you make the royal icing? I can buy Wilton Meringue Powder here in Europe, but I always have problems with the icing – either it gets too hard and I have no chance of pouring it or it’s too soft and flows and flows and flows. Do you have any tips for me? I’d really appreciate any kind of help you can give me.
    Thanks a lot and HAPPY Valentine to you 🙂

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