Sunday, March 15, 2009
Here is my family's recipe for sugar cookies - and I have never found another that makes a soft, crumbly cookie like this one is. Other recipes always seem to produce a pretty crisp cookie, but since I grew up with the soft kind I am just never satisfied with anything else. This is also a great way to keep kids busy... if you don't mind them ending up covered in icing by the end of it.
Sugar Cookies (makes ~80):
1lb butter (not margarine!)
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
3 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together well. Shape the dough into a roll and divide it in half, then wrap in cling film and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2-3 hours. If you don't allow this chilling time, the cookies won't hold their shape as well during baking.
The next day, knead the dough to soften it and then roll to a half centimetre's thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out your shapes and bake at 350F/180C for 8-12 minutes. You want them just done, with only a hint of brown (or none) at the edges. Cool on newspaper or a wire rack and then ice.
Normally, I just sprinkle with sugar sprinkles prior to baking as it is a lot less work than icing them. If you do decide to ice them, mix 1 cup icing sugar and 1-2 tablespoons water. Add more water as necessary to achieve a pourable consistency. Tint with gel food colouring, or if using liquid food colouring add it prior to the water. When trying to use several colours on each cookie I find it is easier to use a piping bag to outline the shape and a toothpick to spread the icing within the piped borders.
P.S. Come back tomorrow for a delicious St. Patrick's Day variation on these!