Sugar Cookies: A Blank Canvas!

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These last few weeks I’ve been craving some cookie creativity. I’ve looked up hundreds of the most amazing flooded sugar cookies and I just can’t resist not joining in! But you have to start off with the basics. And happily the basics of this is a sweet and buttery cookie.

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Part of why it’s taken me so long to mix up and roll out these cookies is because of what they are: a blank canvas. There is so many possibilities with these guys I find them more overwhelming than any recipe, whether it be super complex or overly involved (but overwhelming in the best way!). I always want to do every design I see… so after all this research that’s a few thousand at this point. Heaven help me. My solution? Take it slow. Boring but true :). I’m starting with the base and will work on a simple design… if my will power holds out…

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(an example of the bottom of my sugar cookies)

To begin, I decided to use a recipe from sugar cookier extraordinaire Sweetsugarbelle. She’s a pastry artist I admire greatly! I surprisingly haven’t tried out this recipe before now. Time to reveal a bit of truth here: I’m always just a little bit hesitant about trying out recipes from the best of best of bloggers and bakers. How would my results compare with their beautiful creations, shown in those bright “makes you want to reach in and grab them” photos?  But, like I said, just a little bit hesitant. Not enough to not try them out once I muster the courage along with the baking supplies. And as per usual, Sweetsugarbelle did a great job with this recipe, because the cookies came out perfectly!

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Sugar Cookies

Yield: 48 cookies                Made by: Sweetsugarbelle

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 teaspoons flavouring (I used almond extract)*
  • 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt*

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until combined. In separate bowl, whisk egg and flavouring together, then add to butter and sugar mixture on medium speed.
  3. In another bowl mix dry ingredients together. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients with mixer speed on low.
  4. Mix until dough comes together. It should be soft to touch but not stick to your finger.
  5. Let rest for a few minutes. While the dough sits, flour your counter and grab your rolling pin.
  6. Roll out dough to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters, picking up the scrapes and rolling the dough back out until used.
  7. Place on non-stick pan and cook for 7-8 minutes (IMPORTANT NOTE: My cookies only took FIVE MINUTES. Take Sweetsugarbelle’s advice and adjust time to your own oven since you know it best. Mine would have been severely burnt if I hadn’t been keeping an eye on them.
  8. Cool on cooling rack, and let sit a day in an airtight container before icing, so the oils don’t interfere with the icing.

Notes:

* Please check out her site and recipe here. She has a lot of helpful notes on her cookies, but I will include what I found most helpful here.

* I used 2 teaspoons of almond extract, and that was definitely more than needed for my dough. I would recommend using 1/2 teaspoon up to 1 teaspoon of almond extract, or your extract of choice.

* These cookies came out very salty! Next time I make these (which will be very soon!) I will skip out on the salt, perhaps besides a small pinch.

* Although she mentions using a lot of leavener, this recipe didn’t have much in it and thus didn’t spread out. The perfect cookie for decorated cookies!

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Besides the flavouring adjustments I’ll make for next time, these cookies came out so well, and I couldn’t really be happier with the shape, texture, and colour. I baked a few of the ones that didn’t roll so well (cracked, uneven, etc) so they can be my practice cookies when I decorate. But most of them are flawless, and it’s a recipe I will be using over and over again. My dishes aren’t even washed and I’m thinking ahead to when I’ll be baking these again. The mark of a truly successful recipe I think!

Coming up this week I’ll have a post on royal icing and we can take a look at these guys iced and pretty! I can’t wait :)

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