Sugar Cookies

Thursdays are the first day of the week that I don’t work, so I like to devote the day to little man who has spent the preceding three days at childcare, with Nana and with Daddy. Today I thought he could help me bake some sugar cookies. Lets just say my blood pressure did not stay at a nice, normal rate! We did have fun though and they tasted really yummy when we had done with icing them. If you are wondering what they are, from left to right we have a love heart, a star, Peppa Pig (or is that her brother George?) and Shrek.

For the icing I used the old fashioned method of pouring a bit of hot water over some icing sugar and mixing it with food colouring – so there is nothing special there, but the biscuits themelves were really scrumptious. What a fantastic recipe, thanks to the Brown Eyed Baker!

2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together and set aside.

Using a hand or bench mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed for a minute or so, until smooth. Beat in the sugar until disolved and is light and pale. Add the egg and the egg yolk and beat until combined. Add the vanilla essence and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture while still beating but be gentle with the beating. As soon as most of the flour has disappeared, combine the rest by using a spatula – you don’t work to overwork the dough. As BEB says, it should be soft, creamy and malleable.

Divide the dough in half and pat down into a disc shape – wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour. BEB says the dough can be refrigerated for up to three days and frozen for up to two months.

Before getting reading to bake, centre an oven rack in your oven and pre-heat to 175 degrees celcius. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Roll out one disc of dough in the plastic wrap using a rolling pin til you get it to just a bit over a 1/4 inch thick. Peel over the top layer of plastic and cut out your shapes. Transfer them to your baking trays, leaving about one and half inches between each cookie. Combine the dough back together, re-roll and keep cutting out your cookies til you have no more dough left. Makes about 20-25 cookies per disc depending on the size of your shapes. Once one tray is full, place it in the fridge – this will stop the cookies spreading during cooking and help retain their shape.

Place trays in the oven for 10 minutes. The cookies should not brown and should be firmish to the touch. Allow them to stand a minute or two before cooling on a wire rack. Ice when completely cool.

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