* If you follow me on social media, you know that all of November I will be posting cookie recipes in a series called, 30 Days of Cookies. That’s 30 recipes to develop, make, photograph, edit, and write in 30 days. For a roundup of all posts, you can visit the 30 Days of Cookies Archive page. Today is Day 12 of 30 with these Seriously Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies from Guest Blogger, Little Bow Sweets. Follow along on Instagram for behind the scenes cookie-making-madness and be sure to link up your own cookie recipes, using the hashtag #30daysofcookies.
I have a treat for you all today! Melissa over at Little Bow Sweets is taking over to share her favorite cut out sugar recipe + 5 tips to decoration perfection. Melissa is a fellow baking addict, with a special knack for making baked goods not only taste delicious, but also look delicious. She was gracious enough to share a fun cookie decorating idea with all of us today, and I cannot wait for you to see what she can do. Prepared to be amazed by her work. Take it away, Melissa.
To me, there is something perfect about a simple sugar cookie. Just a few ingredients and an afternoon to spare, and you’ve got something adorable and delicious! There are a ton of great recipes out there, but I’ve had the most consistent results with this variation, so I’ve stuck with it! Here are my top five tips for the perfect sugar cookie:
1. Stay Cool: Do not, I repeat, do not, try to skip any of the chilling times. It seems like such a pain to chill the dough in between each step like this, but trust me- chilled dough = perfect cookies.
2. Stick to It: Invest in some parchment paper, and roll the dough out in between two sheets of the paper. This allows you to move your sheets of rolled dough in and out of the fridge easily, and ensures that nothing will stick without using flour, which can lead to a crumbly cookie.
3. Grease Up: I like to keep a tiny bowl of vegetable or canola oil on hand. I use my fingertips to coat my cookie cutters in a thin layer of the oil, and also to coat the spatula I use to place the cut cookies on the trays. I started doing this a few hundred cookies ago, and it has made my cookie-cutting just so much easier.
4. Pipeline: When you’re piping outlines, lift the piping bag away from the cookie and slowly pull the icing in the line you’re trying to make. The icing “tube” will naturally fall in a much straighter, smoother line than you can pipe by keeping close to the cookie.
5. Keep them Coming: Make extra. I’m not even joking, whatever you need, make more. These are probably the only thing on my menu I cannot resist eating, and I regularly hear from people that they’ve eaten the whole bag in one evening by accident. These are dangerously good, so keep your running shoes handy!
- 1 cup butter cut into chunks and softened for about half an hour at room temperature (or if you’re impatient like me, in the microwave for three 5-second intervals)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 3 cups cake flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites
- 4 cups icing powdered sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until they are white and fluffy.
- Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Combine flour and salt with a whisk, and add to mixer at low speed. I like to throw a dish towel over the bowl and turn the mixer up for a minute to ensure that everything is combined nicely.
- Remove dough from mixer and paddle, and place on a piece of saran wrap on the counter. Pat the dough out to 2-3” thick, wrap, and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes.
- Unwrap chilled dough, place between two sheets of parchment paper, and roll out to ¼ inch thick. Place in fridge, still in between the parchment paper, for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Remove chilled sheet of dough, take off top piece of parchment, and cut out desired shapes with a greased cookie cutter. Use a greased spatula to transfer cut shapes to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Freeze trays of cut shapes for 20 minutes.
- Place frozen tray in the center of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Cookies should look just barely golden on the edges.
- After five minutes transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Place ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix slowly for a minute or two to combine, then on high for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is forms stiff peaks.
- Divide mixture into smaller bowls, depending on how many colors you will be using. I like to use concentrated gel colors, as they don’t water down your icing and give really vibrant color.
So how cute was all of this? I’m thinking sugar cookies decorated as chocolate cookies is in order for me soon. Maybe one of these days I’ll whip out my cake decorating supplies and actually put it to work. If you loved this post, just wait until you see some of her other creations. They are all just so dang adorable & mouth-watering.