The sugar cookie. Yes, you are probably tempted to move way from this site right now, but wait! I have a compelling argument about the sugar cookie. Hear me out.
My memory of the sugar cookie is of hard tasteless cookies with weird tasting icing. Yes, they have always looked beautiful, but when it came to the taste, they were sub-par. If you do a cookie exchange or are at a dinner party with a cookie tray, I can bet that the decorated sugar cookies are last to go. People have just eaten too many bad ones.
A few years back, me and Mr. F made a ton of these here cookies and they blew our minds! We thought, well, they could be fun with all the decorating and stuff. We tweaked them by rolling out the dough thicker than usual and cooking them shorter than usual. The end product was a moist, sweet buttery “this is a sugar cookie?” moment. We brought them to all our dinner parties in fancy tins and we basically had to push them on people, but once they tried them, they reached for another and another.
This year, we made over 100 to hand out to the skaters we coach. Now, they are Dutch kids and have never really had the traditional Canadian Christmas sugar cookie, so they had no prejudices. They thought they were “heel lekker!” (ie. very tasty!)
Come on people, try these out again. Decorating them is so fun and with the tweaks, eating them is satisfyingly great, too. Your friends will shy away because of bad memories, but is important to be relentless and push them to try one. Don’t be afraid slip them onto peoples’ plates. It is all in the name of Christmas spirit. They will thank you for it later. Bring back the sugar cookie!!
Sugar Cookies – adapted from Piece of Cake @ www.pieceofcakeblog.blogspot.com
2.25 cups all-purpose flour
0.5 tsp baking powder
0.25 tsp salt
0.5 cup butter at room temp
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl/standmixer bowl (paddle attachment) or food processor cream the butter. Add in the vanilla extract and 1 egg at a time. Mix until combined. next, add in the dry ingredients until the batter is smooth. It will be soft. Turn the batter out onto a piece of plastic wrap, form it into a disk and put int he fridge for at least 1 hour. This step is actually important here. I normally want to skip stuff like this, butthe dough will be completely unmanageable until the butter is cold again.
After the painful cooling off period, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees fareheit. Take out half of the dough and rool out on a floured surface. Make sure there is enough flour since this dough will stick as soon as it starts to warm up. This is where you want to be careful not to roll it out too thin. Keep it about 1/3 to 1/2 an inch thick. Use floured cookie cutter to cut out the shapes and lay flat on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are not touching, but you can put them quite close together since they do not spread too much. Pop them in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are slightly turning golden. Do NOT overcook!! The combination of too thin and overcooked is the dreaded sugar cookie. Stear clear of this and you will love these.
Super Simple Glaze – me
This glaze is totally done by feel. You will see what I mean when you try it. I won’t give you specific measurements because it is best to test out how thick or thin you want it.
Icing/ powdered sugar (about 1 cup)
milk (2-4 tsp)
a few drops of food colouring
Let the cookies completely cool. Put the icing sugar into a flat wide mouthed bowl so you can fit the cookies in to dip. Add the milk one tsp at a time. Make sure you fully incorporate the milk everytime because it will surprise you how the liquid will desolve the sugar. If you are adding foor colouring, you may have to add a bit more sugar because the food colouring will add liquid. You want the glaze to be think enough to coat the cookie but not so thick that you have to spread it on with a fork and not so thin that it all oozes off.
Take a cookie in your fingers. Face the right side down and dip int othe glaze. place on parchement paper or a cooling rack to let some of the glaze seep off and cool. Decorate with sprinkles immediately so that it will stick. If you want to draw stuff on, it’s best to wait until the glaze dries for that step.