I'm probably best known for my frosted sugar cookies. Let's get one thing straight: the sugar cookies are all about the frosting. The cookie is simply the vehicle for creamy, buttery frosting. I wonder how many sugar cookies I've cut out over the years??? I make pumpkins for Halloween and candy canes, bells, trees, angels, etc. for Christmas. The funny thing is, I never grow tired of it. Maybe it's because I know everyone loves them. That's the wonderful thing about baking...everyone loves sugar...it makes people happy.
Here are my secrets for irresistable sugar cookies:
1. Roll out the dough THICK. I'd say it's about 1/4 inch. You may make fewer cookies from the batch, but they're better cookies, because they end up being soft and chewy instead of crispy.
2. Take the cookies out BEFORE they start to brown around the edges. They may seem like they're not done, but they are. I always know the cookies are ready to come out of the oven because the dough goes from shiny to dull. The cookies will bake a bit more on the pan outside of the oven before you remove them to a wire rack.
3. Almond extract in the frosting. Forget vanilla. Almond extract makes all the difference in the world.
4. Butter. Do people seriously still use margarine in anything?
Sugar Cookies for Cutouts
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine mixtures and roll into two separate balls. Chill for two hours. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes. (Every oven is different---take my advice from above for doneness.)