It’s Christmas Eve morning and I’m finishing up the last of my gift wrapping and food gifts. It’s been snowing on and off for the past three days, so it’s perfect baking weather. Sugar cookies are one of my favorite cookies and I always make them during Christmas time to give them out to friends and family. This year I wanted to test a new (new to me) sugar cookie recipe from Betty Crocker that has been around for over 40 years! This recipe claims to be “cookie exchange” worthy, so I thought this would be a good “5 cup flour gamble” and gave it a try. This recipe makes up to 96 cookies with a 3 inch cookie cutter. I used a 4.5 inch snowflake cutter and got about 40 cookies out of the dough.
Many reviewers of this recipe say that this is their “go-to” sugar cookie recipe and claim that they don’t frost them because they are that good. So, after reading a few pages of reviews, I wanted to try this recipe and see if it was going to be my new Christmas Sugar Cookie. After reading over the recipe, one thing I knew is that I like my sugar cookies to have a slight orange flavor, so I added a teaspoon of orange extract, hoping to changing the flavor of the cookies a bit, but not the consistency of the cookies. However, many of the fans of this recipe suggested substituting the baking soda for the baking powder for a more tender cookie. I made these two changes to the recipe and the cookies were so good!
They were tender and crumbly, melted in your mouth and seemed more buttery than sweet and were full of flavor. Also, I assured that the cookies baked true to their cookie cutter shape, so I froze the rolled out dough for about 15 minutes, then cut out the shape and then baked the cold cookie dough so that cookies wouldn’t puff and spread too much distorting the snowflake shape. I took these un-frosted cookies to a holiday party and everyone seemed to really like them. The true test was if the kids liked them, and they did, but they wanted to frosted them. So we set up a table, pulled out the Christmas sugars and let them frost them to their hearts content. They were eating unfrosted cookies as they were decorating them. We knew they would “go to town” with the frosting, so we reserved some cookies for the adults without the loaded frosting.
Icing, or no icing? That is the question. Either way, this is my new Christmas Sugar Cookie recipe!
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 orange extract (optional)
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
|Step 1||In a large bowl, combine 3 cups powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, 1 teaspoon almond extract and eggs. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.|
|Step 2||Heat oven to 375°F. Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with 3-inch cookie cutters. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.|
|Step 3||Bake 7 - 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. |
Allow cookies to cool on cookies sheet for 3 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes before decorating cookies.
|Step 4||Tips: |
* You can divide this recipe in half for a smaller batch of cookies.
* Roll dough to an even thickness by rolling over two wooden dowels or rulers. Use dowels or rulers in the desired thickness, and place them on opposite sides of the dough.
*Roll out dough between to pieces of wax or parchment paper to desired thickness. Place dough in freezer for approximately 15 minutes. Remove paper and cut out shapes. (Placing dough in the freezer hardens the dough and makes for easier cookie cutting.