It Doesn't Get Better Than These Classic Sugar Cookies For The Holidays
There are certain foods that I associate with the various holidays. For example, when I think of Christmas, I picture Sugar Cookies. And It Doesn't Get Better Than This Classic Sugar Cookies Recipe For The Holidays! While it can be easy to get carried away with new recipes during the holidays, it is the simple classics we often return to. Traditional recipes tend to bring back fond memories, and this Classic Sugar Cookies recipe should do just that.
Traditional sugar cookies are made from sugar, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla and either baking soda or baking powder. They are typically rolled and cut into shapes before being baked and then decorated with frosting or sprinkles (or, if you're lucky, a combination of both!). This Classic Sugar Cookie recipe does not deviate at all from the traditional sugar cookie recipe and requires only flour, sugar, unsalted room-temperature butter, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Have you ever wondered why so many dessert recipes – especially cake and cookie recipes – require certain ingredients to be room temperature? Well, starting at the cold end of the spectrum, the most common example of the importance of chilling ingredients is for making flaky pie dough. When you make pie dough if the butter is from-the-fridge cold, it won't completely mix into the flour, and some will remain in pieces. After rolling out your dough, you end up with long flat sheets of butter within your dough. The water within butter turns to steam and helps create layers in your dough, which makes your pie dough flaky. Obviously, that isn't what you want when you're making sugar cookies, which should be soft, not flaky. When room temperature, sugar can work its magic and aerate butter (sugar crystals have tiny jagged edges that act like 'shovels', carving out minuscule air pockets in the butter). For this reason, it is also a good idea for your other fridge ingredients, such as your eggs, to be room-temperature, so that the cold eggs don't chill the butter in your mixture causing it to harden into little cold pellets. Utilizing room-temperature ingredients allows your cakes and cookies to end up with a light, tender and fluffy texture... exactly what you want from a Classic Sugar Cookie recipe!
This Classic Sugar Cookie recipe starts and ends in the traditional way, with the creaming of butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Next, the addition of wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla extract) and, finally, the addition of dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt). You should gradually add your dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat until just combined (my rule when cooking is, you can add extra if you need it, but you can't remove excess once it has been added!). Next you want to wrap your dough in plastic wrap and chill so that it's easier to work with. Another reason for chilling your dough is because the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat, which means the longer the fat remains solid, the less your cookies will spread and flatten on the cookie sheet. Finally, roll your dough and use holiday themed/shaped cookie cutters to form wonderful holiday cookies. You will want to bake your cookies for around 7-9 minutes, or until the edges are just lightly browned. And if you plan on decorating, let them cool entirely before adding icing. A simple, classic decoration is to sprinkle confectioners' sugar on top. And voila! Classic Sugar Cookies created from a classic sugar cookie recipe that's sure to bring smiles to faces every time.
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