So after posting my recipe for sugar cookies, I decided I’d really like to make them this year. So somehow I squeezed that into our busy schedule, and it was worth it. Yum. And the plus is that I could take prettier pictures this time around (and step-by-step pictures, at that) than I did with my old camera the last time I baked them. So this post is essentially a recipe repeated (and improved a little), with photos.
Holiday Iced Sugar Cookies
Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
From Mom and Grandma
1 C butter (We used to use shortening like Crisco in these, but this time I used butter)
1 C sugar
2 eggs (don’t worry about beating them before combining them with the rest of the wet ingredients)
2 t vanilla
1 C buttermilk
5 C flour
2 t baking powder
1.5 t salt
1 t baking soda
Cream the sugar and butter.
Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and beat together.
Sift the dry ingredients together into a separate bowl.
Gradually alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture and mix until you have a dough. The dough will be thick, so I recommend using a strong rubber spatula for this to give you more leverage and make it easier to scrape the sides of the bowl and cut the ingredients into the dough. When you’re done, separate the dough into at least two parts and wrap each with plastic wrap. I separated mine into five parts since I have a very small work space for rolling out dough. Refridgerate the dough for at least one hour. If you don’t need the cookies that day, you can leave the dough in the refridgerator for a day or two and roll and bake the cookies later (keep in mind that the dough will get MUCH harder if you do this, so it will be a little tougher to roll out unless you leave the dough out of the refridgerator for a few minutes before rolling).
Roll the dough to 1/4″-1/2″ thick and cut cookies. Go closer to 1/4″ if you prefer thin cookies, although they’ll be much more fragile and retain less moisture this way. After some trial and error in refreshing my memory while making this batch, I remembered that I prefer to roll my dough a bit thicker (closer to 1/2″ thick), which results in much thicker, stronger cookies that are a little more moist and soft inside than the thinner version (I’d compare it to the inside of a scone). I think this might actually be a photo of one of the thinner batches of cookies after they came out of the oven, so this is about the thickness they should have been before going into the oven.
Bake the cookies at 375 °F until they’re just starting to brown at the edges. My earlier recipe said 15 minutes, but with my current oven, I found that the thinner and smaller cookies (like those below) only needed about 5-6 minutes, and the thicker and larger cookies only needed about 10-12 minutes. So keep an eye on your first batch to figure out what timing is better for your preferred size and thickness of cookies.
This was a batch of larger cookies that I cut too thin (closer to 1/4″), making them much more fragile (we had a couple of gingerbread people casualties while icing them).
Unfortunately I forgot to take photos while making the icing, so I don’t have step-by-step photos for this part of the recipe. Refer to my original recipe for icing instructions and decorating tips. All of the cookies in the following photo were decorated using the butter-knife technique.
And of course I always like to leave a few uniced (usually whatever is left when I get sick of icing cookies, including the more difficult ones like snowflakes). I think they’re very pretty uniced, too, though.