Introduction: Sugar Cookies Made Simple
Here's a simple step by step instructions on how to make sugar cookies. Though the pictures you see are of Christmas cookies this recipe could be used anytime a year all sorts of sugar cookies, and best of all these treats make a perfect gift for a loved one friend, or teacher.
Step 1: Ingredients
For this recipe you will need:
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- two eggs
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons margarine powder
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
It Is very important to make sure that the butter is softened because if not the butter wont mix in correctly and will effect the consistency of the dough.
Step 2: Mix the Rest of Your Ingredients in a Separate Bowl
Start by using a mixer on the butter until it has completely lost its stick form. Next gradually beat in the sugar until both are fully mixed together, you may have to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed well. The last ingredient to add is the eggs, crack the eggs and beat them into the mixture one at a time.
Step 3: Mix Butter Mixture With Dry Ingredients
Now its time to to bring both of our mixtures together!
For this step you're going to want to skip the mixer, you're going to want to fold your mixture until you have a thick dough. This part might get tricky so you might even want to roll up your sleeves, get you hands dirty and mix by hand.
Step 4: Chill Dough
Our dough is almost ready but not just yet the only thing left to do is to wrap up your dough in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for two hours. This will help make sure that the cookies don't lose their perfect cookie cutter shape while baking in the oven.
Step 5: Prepare Dough for Cookie Cutting
Fist make sure your working area is clean and sprinkle flour over your area(This will make sure your cookies don't stick to the table). Once that's ready you can take your dough out of the fridge and begin to roll it out you want to roll it out until its about a quarter inch of thickness. Its very important to make sure that the thickens is consistent all throughout because if its not your cookies will cook at completely different rates, which means some may be raw while others are already browning.
Step 6: Cut Out the Cookies
Now would be the perfect time to start pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees.
Get out your favorite cookie cutters and start on edge and keep adding on while also keeping the cut outs as close to each other as possible to make sure you're making good use of all of the dough.
Once you no longer have any more space for cut outs you can start to carefully peel away the extra bits along the edges of each cookies and start placing you cookies on a greased tray or on parchment paper.
Because these cookies don't spread you can keep the cookies a minimum of 1/2 in apart
Step 7: Prepare Royal Icing
Mean while the cookies are in the oven we can start to prepare our royal icing for decorating.
The first thing you'll want to do is mix your meringue powder with the water and mix with your mixer until bubbles start to form on top. The next step is to add the sifted powdered sugar and mix at a low speed.
Once the sugar is fully mixed in you might notice that the mixture looks too thick to be icing, and you're right. Add water to thin out the icing, I would recommend to ad one table spoon at a time. You'll know the consistency is perfect when it reaches the "flood" stage, an easy way to recognize this is to mix the icing and count how many second it takes until it is flat again. In the flood stage this should take about ten seconds.
Once the icing is done you can keep it covered with plastic rap or a wet towel
Step 8: Get Colors Ready
Take out a small portion of your icing and in a separate container mix it with your color of choice until you are left with one solid color. Once you have the color you want scoop it into a zip lock bag.(quick tip if you don't have someone to hold the bag for you put the bag over a cup)
Once that is ready close the bag, twist the bag and cut a small hole in you bag.
Step 9: Icing the Cookies
Start by making an outline of your desired shape the fill it in, at this point it docent have to be neat or perfect because the next thing to do is to use a toothpick to fill in any/all gaps that need to be filled in.
Repeat for any other shapes.
Get as creative as you want! add detail, sprinkles or go crazy, add chocolates!