There’s something magical about the aroma of freshly baked sugar cookies wafting through the kitchen, especially during the holiday season. Whether you’re looking to create festive treats for a special occasion or just want to indulge in a bit of comfort baking, this classic sugar cookie recipe is a surefire way to satisfy your sweet cravings. Join us on a journey to discover the joy of baking and savoring these delightful, melt-in-your-mouth cookies.
For the Cookies:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Icing:
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- Food coloring (optional)
- Sprinkles or decorations of your choice
Making the Sugar Cookies:
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Creaming the Butter and Sugar: In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. This can be done using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
- Adding the Wet Ingredients: Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Sifting the Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms.
- Rolling and Cutting: Divide the dough in half, flatten each portion into a disc, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes.
- Baking: Place the cut-out cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Let them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Making the Icing:
- Mixing the Icing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and almond extract (if using) until smooth.
- Coloring the Icing (Optional): If you want to add some festive colors, divide the icing into separate bowls and add food coloring to each bowl.
- Decorating the Cookies: Once the cookies are completely cooled, use a small spatula or a piping bag to ice the cookies. Add sprinkles or decorations while the icing is still wet.
- Allowing the Icing to Set: Let the icing set for at least an hour before storing or serving the cookies.
Baking sugar cookies is more than just a culinary endeavor; it’s a way to create lasting memories and share joy with loved ones. Whether you’re enjoying these cookies during the holidays or on a regular day, the simple pleasure of a homemade sugar cookie is a taste of home that’s hard to beat. So, preheat that oven, gather your ingredients, and let the sweet aroma of freshly baked cookies fill your home. Happy baking!