As we’ve just said goodbye to the last night of Hanukkah I might be a little late to post this, but Christmas is still a few days away and felt the need to share what I think is the best basic sugar cookie recipe for the holidays. These make the perfect dinner party or teacher holiday gifts and are a perfect winter break activity with the kiddos. This recipe was shared with me by one of the best and most meticulous bakers I know, someone who I am certain tested this recipe time and again perfecting it over the years. It is better than any recipe I’ve pulled off the Internet and I’ve tried many! I am including the recipe as is below and guarantee you’ll probably have all the ingredients you need for both the dough and icing and won’t take more than 15 minutes (plus time for the dough to chill). I will note, watch the cooking time, they brown quickly!
I’m including some action photos below in case you need motivation. Notice the dump and submerge technique adopted by my daughter which resulted in nice and complete sprinkle coverage! Recipe is included below photos.
Brenda’s Sugar Cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature (I use Kerry Gold)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt with a wire whisk. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well mixed. Scrape down the side of the bowl, then add the flour mixture. Bend on low speed just until combined. Do not over mix.
Gather dough into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.
On a floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. With cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, being careful not to brown. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface. Yields 3 dozen cookies.
Icing for Sugar Cookies:
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tsp. milk
Whisk sugar and milk together in a small bowl until mixture is smooth but liquid. If it seems dry, add 1/2 tsp. more milk. Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small piping tip, or use an off-set spatula to spread icing on cookies. For colored icing, follow directions on food coloring package. I recommend gel or food coloring paste.