Updated: Feb 3
This recipe was passed down to us and is a family favorite. It's perfect for cut out cookies that are meant to be decorated, we use this for just about every holiday. As most handed down recipes, it came to us with no directions, so it is basically the Great British Baking Show up in here! After several tries I finally came to perfect it and feel good about sharing with you. I have used this recipe for St. Valentine's Day, Easter, All Hallows' Eve, Christmas, and other special feast days so this one is just great to have on hand year round.
Why I love this recipe!
The cookies hold their shape.
If stored properly, they will stay soft for days.
They are soft in the center but have a crisp edge.
They are flavorful, hence why I use almond and vanilla extract.
The mystery ingredient, cream of tartar, is what gives them a soft and chewy texture.
Here are some general tips and tricks for baking the perfect sugar cookie.
Use salted butter, this will help balance out the sweetness of the cookie. If you have unsalted on hand like I did, just add a little bit of salt into the recipe.
Roll out your dough so that it is roughly 1/4 inch thick, this is how you get that soft center.
Don't overwork the dough, when it's overworked it will balloon in the oven and then deflate before you can even decorate them.
Chill the dough, you can even chill them again after using the cookie cutters, doing this helps them to keep their shape.
Bake on parchment paper or a cookie tray mat, this makes it much easier to transfer your cookies and also allows for a quicker clean up.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 8-10 minutes
Yields: 18-20 cookies
1 1/2 c. 10x sugar
1 c. butter
1 egg at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
Begin by putting 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter into the stand mixer.
Sprinkle in 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar and cream together.
You may have to use a baking spatula to scrape down the edges of the bowl and then continue creaming together. This process is a lot easier if the butter is at room temperature.
Add in one room temperature egg to the mixture.
Pour in 1/2 tsp almond extract.
Then add in 1 tsp vanilla extract. If you can spring for pure vanilla try that, you will get a lot more flavor.
Beat together until combined, but don't over do it here.
Set your wet mixture aside and put 2 1/2 cups flour in a mixing bowl. Walk away for two seconds to grab a towel and come back to find finger prints in the flour. This was done by an adult... I have no other words.
Measure out 1 tsp Cream of Tartar and add to the flour.
Add in 1 tsp baking soda.
Lastly, throw in 1/2 tsp salt.
Whisk your dry ingredients together and then slowly pour into the wet ingredients with the mixer on.
Mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and then transfer your ball of dough back into a mixing bowl and cover with cling wrap to chill. Your dough should not be a sticky texture but pliable and even a little bit crumbly.
Voila! This little baby is ready to go to the refrigerator. I recommend letting it chill for 2-3 hours or if you're like me and a million little things come up, let it chill overnight and get to them tomorrow.
Day two of baking, here we go! Preheat the oven to 375 and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. Let the dough sit out for about 5 minutes or so to lightly soften.
Flour a rolling pin as well as the counter top and roll out the cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. I love using this gingerbread man and woman, they were mine from childhood so I enjoy getting to continue the tradition.
Bake at 375 for about 8-10 minutes depending on your oven.
While you're letting the cookies cool you can make your own frosting or if you're like me you can dye store bought frosting. I buy lots of little candies and sprinkles to have fun with and they always turn out so cute, perfect for wrapping up and gifting to friends or the neighbors.
Enjoy these treats and have yourself a delicious little feast day!
Did you make this recipe? If so I would love to see it, drop a picture in the comment or send it to me on social media Facebook @HisGirlSunday.
For more liturgical living resources check out the blog section of my website or follow me on Facebook to see what Catholic things I am doing to make our day to day life more joyful.
Praying for you as we journey to Heaven together, one feast day, and cookie, at a time!