Even though I have a perfectly fine recipe for sugar cookies, I’m always open to try a new one.  Because resisting new things makes you old and gives you frown lines and age spots and turkey neck.  True story.

This one is from the December 2013 issue of Bon Appetit and it’s a keeper.

There are a couple of things I think we can all agree we want in a sugar cookie recipe: 1. easy to work with and 2. not a pain in the butt to work with.  If they taste half-way decent that’s a bonus.  We all know it’s mainly about rolling the things out, decorating them, and being able to say “I got one of the 77 things on my Christmas list done.”  JK!  Yes they are messy and time consuming but for many us it wouldn’t be Christmas without making these kind of cookies and some of my best memories are of my daughter and her friends decorating them even though it meant icing and sprinkles in every crack and crevice of my kitchen.

This recipe wins because it is very easy to work with (the dough doesn’t crack and fall apart every time you roll it out) and they actually taste really good (I might go from 3/4 teaspoon to a full teaspoon of salt next time).  They are not tough after rolling and re-rolling, they aren’t dry and they are delightfully buttery.

Rather than link you to the site I’m going to go to the enormous trouble of typing the recipe out here because it contains an error and even after two years of readers pointing it out, Epicurious or Bon Appetit or whoever still hasn’t corrected it (should be 1-1/4 cups of butter, to equal 2-1/2 sticks).  It’s my little gift to you, gentle readers.

So here you go.  Gather your kids around or if they think they’re too old, make them anyway and leave them out for them to enjoy when you’re not looking.  You might still be creating a memory even though they might not seem to care.  Kids are funny that way.  For example, a teenager who had no previous interest in trimming the tree, thereby spoiling one of your many Norman Rockwell moments, may tell you, from far away at college, “Don’t decorate the tree until I get home!”  True story 🙂

Peace be with all of you.

Ultimate Sugar Cookies from Bon Appetit, December 2013

Yield: 2-3 dozen, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Whisk salt, baking powder, and 3 cups flour in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer (or stand mixer) beat butter and sugar until well combined (butter does not need to be fluffy), about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla; beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; mix just to combine. Form dough into two 3/4"-thick disks; wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours or freeze for up to 1 month.
  2. Place oven racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 325-degrees.
  3. Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured counter top until about 1/4" thick (rotate dough to prevent sticking. Dough will be difficult to roll at first but will relax as it warms up). Cut out shapes and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets.
  4. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12-16 minutes, depending on size. transfer to wire racks and let cool. Repeat with scraps and remaining dough. Decorate as desired.

 

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