There’s nothing quite like a delicious sugar cookie. The perfect way to top off any holiday celebration, sugar cookie dough seems like it should be the easiest dough in the world to work with, but it can be surprisingly difficult at times. Fortunately, these tips can help.
The Right Recipe
There are millions of sugar cookie recipes floating around, and not all of them are good ones. The trick here is to find a recipe that you like. Many use cream of tartar and almond extract while others stick to the more traditional butter and sugar fare. Each ingredient plays an essential role in the final taste, so you’ll want to experiment as much with flavor as you do with the process itself. No matter what recipe you choose, make certain that you use the proper amount of flour. In fact, you may want to reduce the amount of flour by up to 3 tablespoons just to make certain your cookies are as tender as possible.
Follow your recipe instructions exactly when you go to mix your dough. In many cases, you’ll be asked to mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately before you combine them. This can help to make sure your dough is as tender as possible.
Mixing the dough is, naturally, fairly important, but almost more important with sugar cookies that you’ll be rolling out is actually preparing the dough. Believe it or not, the last thing you want to do is go from mixer to floured surface. Sugar cookie dough is often incredibly soft, and it can be tough to work with straight out of the mixer. Instead, you’ll want to give the dough time to chill and relax. Allow your dough to sit in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes after you’ve mixed it, but you could allow it to sit for up to 24 hours.
After you pull the dough from the refrigerator, you’ll want to place it on a lightly floured surface. Grab your rolling pin. While you can use almost any rolling pin for this task, many suggest a silicone rolling pin, as it means you have to use less flour during the rolling process. A marble rolling pin is also a good idea because it has the ability to keep the dough cooler as you work. No matter what rolling pin you use, you’ll want to roll it out, starting from the center, until it reaches about a half-inch in thickness. Grab the cookie cutters you wish to use, and dip them in flour. You want enough flour on your cookie cutters to ensure they won’t stick to the dough, but make certain they’re not filled with flour. The last thing you want is a flour covered sugar cookie. After a few cookies, go ahead and reflour your cookie cutter.
Place each cookie on a cookie sheet and decorate if desired. Some recipes will have you grease your cookie sheet before baking. Bake at the proper temperature, then pull them off promptly after you’ve removed the sheets from the oven. Cool on a wire rack, then decorate with icing if design cookies are desired.
Image by ambientoasis on Flickr’s Creative Commons.
Pinkchic18 is an avid party planner with a passion for desserts and baking. She also frequently writes for the Gourmet Cookie Bouquets Recipe Blog where you can find great deals on cookie arrangements.