I first posted this recipe for sugar cookies more than 3 years ago on my LJ account, but I’ve learned things in the interim, so I thought I’d repost it there, and here, for the first time. Plus, the pictures are so cute.
Embossed Easter Cookie Cutters
Amanda’s Amazing Sugar Cookies II (from I Am Baker)
Makes 5-6 dozen 3″ cookies depending whether they were rolled 1/8 or 1/4″ thick
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups fine sugar
2 whole eggs
2 eggs yolks
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
In a mixer or food processor, beat or cream the butter and sugar together until they are well combined, which will take about 2 minutes. If you take your butter straight out of the fridge, it will take longer to incorporate the sugar.
Add in 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks and mix until combined.
Add in vanilla and almond extract and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly (about a cup at a time) add flour to the butter mixture and combine. Unless you’ve got a strong arm, the mixer or food processor is preferable to using a wooden spoon for this step.
Wrap the dough in Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours or overnight.
About 15 minutes before you want to start rolling out the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Use a Silpat or a sheet of parchment paper to line a light coloured aluminum baking sheet or the bottoms of the cookies will get too dark.
NOTE: DO NOT OVER-HANDLE the dough or it will soften too much and you won’t be able to lift the cookies to transfer them to the baking sheet.
Roll dough out at least 1/4″ thick, if using embossed cookie cutters, using as little flour as possible. You can roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to help. If the dough sticks, it’s too warm.
Cut out cookies, transfer to the baking sheets and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to get some color. (In my new oven, I baked the cookies for 15 minutes.) Once you’ve cut your cookies, you may want to put your cookie sheet into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to chill the cookies and reduce spreading.
NOTE 2: I found that when I used BOTH a Silpat sheet and a sheet of parchment paper in this last batch of cookies, they spread too much and I lost the design from my embossed cookie cutters.
The cookie on the left was baked on parchment paper while the one on the right was baked on a Silpat sheet.
Cookies ready to be baked
Gather together the scraps, roll in Saran wrap, refrigerate and once they are cooled, reroll and cut out more cookies.
Once baked, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack until they cool to room temperature.
Store in an airtight container.
Christmas variation: Replace almond extract with peppermint extract. Add ~1 cup peppermint candies and 1/2 cup peppermint kisses, each finely chopped.