Friday, August 29, 2008

Sugar Cookies

My oldest niece, Kayla, has been begging to bake with me for four days straight. After many promises that today I would bake with her, I finally did. So yesterday we finally assembled all the ingredients necessary to whip up a batch of sugar cookies. They are the simplest cookies to make and they allow for kids to participate alot, first with the ingredients, and then with rolling and decorating. She was satisfied. And so was I. I usually opt for Alton Brown's but I decided to put one of my latest purchases to use, that being Martha Stewart's Cookies. The dough came together easily and the resulting dough after being chilled was, in no other words, beautiful; silkily smooth and gloriously easy to handle. The only thing is that the dough must stay cool while it is being rolled. Due to lack of time, we only rolled out a small portion of the dough and put the rest in the freezer for future cookie baking urges. The end cookie is crisp and snappy with classic sugar cookie flavor. Just the way we like it.

Sugar Cookies
from Martha Stewart's Cookies

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.
Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic; chill for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, and decorate with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake until edges just start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks. May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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