The Best Sugar Cookies

December 27, 2013

Although I haven’t posted any new food recipes lately, I have been doing quite a bit of baking. I blame the holidays. If you are looking for a no-fail cookie, this is it. I can’t take credit for the recipe. It’s floated around Pinterest for quite some time.

ALMOND VERSION
1 1/2 C sugar
2/3 C butter
2/3 C sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp almond extract
3 1/2 C all pour pose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
sugar for decorating, colored is fun

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugar, butter, and shortening. Add eggs and almond extract then mix. Add in remaining ingredients and mix.

Chill dough for 30 minutes. Form balls and roll in sugar if desired (or just sprinkle on top). Bake for 8 minutes. I have also made the dough ahead and frozen it. It freezes well – just thaw in time to bake.

NOTES: They really only need 8 minutes (unless you make giant cookies). They may not look done when you take them out, but they really are. I recently overbaked them, and it wasn’t pretty. As I did in my chocolate chip cookie post, shortening and cornstarch in a dough will make it hold its shape. If a recipe does not include these ingredients, you can always reduce the butter and substitute the same amount of shortening and simply add 2 tsp cornstarch. These cookies hold their shape. Halfway through the baking process, I press them down using the back of a spatula and rotate my pan. It is not necessary, but you will end up with more rounded cookies if you don’t.

ICED REGULAR VERSION
For a regular sugar cookie, simply substitute 2 tbsp almond extract for 1 tbsp vanilla. When cooled, make buttercream icing and frost as desired.

Icing:
3 C powdered sugar
1 C butter at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp whipping cream (or milk)

Cream butter and sugar until well-blended on low. Increase speed and beat for another few minutes. Add vanilla and 1 tsp cream, blend. If desired consistency is not reached, add more cream.

 

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