Sweet Sunday- Vanilla Sugar Cookies

December 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

Thank you, Paula Deen! (Not sure I ever pictured myself saying that…) Sugar cookies for me are usually a FLOP. They are either TOO sugary (I understand they’re sugar cookies), too soft, too crunchy, or the “cut out cute shapes” part is a total and complete fail. I believe this recipe of Paula Deen’s that I found had that perfect technique to make them come out just right. By the way- rolling out dough in between parchment paper is my new favorite technique. No messy flour to deal with, and chilling the dough was easy since you just put your sheet of it straight onto the refrigerator shelf. Ah, cookie dough bliss. (Note: funny story of rolling out the dough is below)

Paula Deen’s Vanilla Sugar Cookies  –High Altitude Approved

Ingredients

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks; 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (11 ounces) all-purpose flour
1   large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I added an extra tsp)

Directions

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Beat until the dough just comes together, being careful not to over mix.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place the ball of dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4 inch think.  Keeping the dough in the parchment, transfer to a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cut out the cookies in the desired shapes and places on a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper or an ungreased nonstick cookie sheet, at least 1 inch apart.  Transfer to the freezer and chill for at least 15 minutes or until they are stiff.

Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Let cookies cool completely on the sheets before decorating.  (They will still be soft when they come out of the oven and may break or become misshapen if they are moved off the sheets before cool.)

______________________________________________

So, I haven’t been able to find my rolling pin since we moved, and obviously a rolling pin is pretty essential for sugar cookies. So I found the next best thing- my husband’s softball bat! Since the dough was being rolled in the middle of two pieces of parchment paper, it didn’t matter that it was a dirty ‘ol bat (though I did give it a good wipe down!). The heaviness of the bat as well as the large size made the most perfectly rolled out dough! Forget needing a rolling pin. This sucker worked twice as well!

Cookie Dough rolled with a softball batSugar Cookie Cutouts

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