Sugar Cookies are a tried and true tradtion for many bakers and is very simple with ingredients that you would find in any fridge or kitchen cupboard. The dough is a basic sugar cookie recipe and the icing is only two ingredients: egg yolk and liquid food colouring. Although this recipe is very simple in ingredients, it is crucial to follow the directions to ensure that you have a moist and pliable cookie dough for rolling.
One important tip when baking is to always spoon your flour into your measuring cup and then level the cup with a knife. Scooping the measuring cup directly from your flour bin can add close to an extra 3 tablespoons of flour into your cookie dough! That extra flour in your dough is the difference between a soft, rollable cookie dough and a dry and crumbly mess. As well, always have your butter and eggs at room temperature. Baking is a chemical reaction and when the temperature of your ingredients is cold, you will have a difficult time incorporating all of your ingredients into one fluid mixture. Follow these simple tips when baking and you are well on your way to creating a masterpiece.
This icing technique is perfect for children and allows them be creative at their own pace. All you need are two ingredients (egg yolk & food colouring) and some new paint brushes and away you go!
Ingredients for Cookie Dough
•3/4 cup butter , softened
•1 cup granulated sugar
•2 tsp vanilla
•1/4 tsp almond extract , (optional)
•2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon your flour into your measuring cup and then level with a knife)
•1/2 tsp baking powder
Ingredients for Icing Paint
– Add one egg yolk per bowl, in a small dish. Add 3-4 drops of liquid food colour and mix well.
In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy; then beat inthe egg and vanilla. In a medium size bowl, stir flour with baking powder. Stir into butter mixture in 2 additions. Do not over mix. Mixture will be crumbly. Divide mixture into two batches on plastic wrap and form into a disc with your hands.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chilled, (Make ahead: Refirigerate dough for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 weeks.)
Pre-heat your oven to 350. Take out your dough and let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Roll out the dough on a well floured counter or parchment paper. Dip your cookie cutters into flour and begin cutting out your cookie shapes. Using a set of paint brushes designated for the kitchen, begin painting cookies with icing paint. Cook cookies at 350 for 10 minutes. Due to different oven temperatures check cookies after 8 minutes. Remove cookies and let cool on a cooling rack. Cookies can be stored in an air tight container for 3-5 days.
Recipe adapted from Canadian Living Sugar Cookie Dough