Monday, December 20, 2010
Sugar cookies and Christmas! There are millions of sugar cookie recipes out there, all basically the same, with small tweaks here and there. I tried this recipe out from The Food Network with great success, with much help from the readers comments who mention how hard and crumbly the dough becomes after resting in the fridge, making it nearly impossible to roll out and work with. So after I made the dough, I went ahead and rolled it out, cut my shapes and then put them on the sheet pans which went into the fridge for about an hour. Once I removed them from the fridge, they were firm and solid. Brilliant! They baked evenly and did not spread. This is the way to go.
From The Food Network
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temp.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange zest
2 egg whites (preferably organic)
3 cups powdered sugar
Course sugar (sanding sugar) *optional
Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, set aside.
Beat the butter, both sugars in another bowl with an electric mixer on medium high until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add in egg yolks, vanilla and orange zest until fully incorporated.
Slowly add the flour mixture, and continue beating until the dough comes together.
Form a ball and divide in to two.
Pat each dough into a disk and roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/3" thick.
Cut desired shape and place on un-greased baking sheet (I use parchment paper).
Gather up uncut dough, form a disk, roll out and repeat until all the dough has been used.
Refrigerate cut outs on the sheet pan for about one hour.
Preheat oven to 375 and bake cookies for approx 8-10 minutes, or when edges start to brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.
Combine egg whites* and powdered sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until thick. Do not over beat. Spread over cooled cookies, dust with sanding sugar and store in an air-tight container.
I used raw egg whites to make the royal icing which comes along with a salmonella warning for children and people with weakened immune systems.