basic sugar cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Er, clearly I need to be more on top of my timing. How do other food bloggers manage to get their holiday-themed posts done on, or even.. before the actual holiday? Oh well. I, for one, was in the process of decorating these guys on the 14th, to be served later that night at a dinner party. While I did manage to take photos of the cookies, somehow I’ve only now been able to write about them.

So. Sugar cookies. Almost any other time I see sugar cookies out at a dessert table, I just steer clear. Oh, sometimes they look good enough and I’m tempted to try one, but my suspicions are generally confirmed upon first bite: crumbly, dry, and altogether cardboard-like. Why should I waste calories on them? And so, first bite = last bite.

And honestly, if these cookies are overbaked, even just by a minute or two, they’re not very appealing, either. At least to me. But, my mom loves crunchy sugar cookies. Go figure. This time, I accidentally let one tray go too long for my tastes and she bagged them all up for herself!

When they’re not overbaked, they are soft and… wonderful. They’re not too sweet, especially without icing. If I must ice them, however, I usually mix up and drizzle on some of this icing. I think it takes a bit more milk to get the right consistency than the recipe calls for, however. Sometimes I leave out the corn syrup entirely and just use milk instead. Either way, it can take quite a few hours for the icing to dry completely, so do remember to take that into account.

basic sugar cookies
- from what I believe is a tiny cutout from a very old BH&G

1/2 c butter
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
2 c AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

this butter and sugar is not yet creamed… keep going

congratulations — you may move on to the next step

Beat egg in well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine dry mixture into butter mixture at low speed until thoroughly blended and smooth

Refrigerate, wrapped in plastic, for at least 1 hour until firm.

Heat oven to 375F.

Work with only enough dough that will fit on your baking sheet; keep remainder refrigerated.

Evenly roll out dough between two sheets of wax paper — I like my sugar cookies on the thicker side, so mine are a little thicker than 1/4-inch. Cut out or shape as desired.

Gently place cookies on lightly greased cookie sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake 5 to 13 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough and shape of cookie, until firm to touch and edges are lightly browned. These giant cookies took around 14 minutes.

be careful handling before they’ve baked, or the shapes can get warped.. unless you’re going for that sort of look

Cool on wire racks, and store in airtight containers. If the cookies are to be iced, allow them to cool completely first.

Makes 1 to 5 dozen, depending on size. And if your massive heart-shaped cookie cutter is as big as mine, one batch of this cookie dough will make a whopping … six cookies.

seriously, i made these cookies on valentine’s day!

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