I'm constantly getting email asking about my sugar cookie recipe. I've always been hesitant to share because I sell the cookies online, but I've decided to pull it out from hiding and let you in on my sweet little secret.
There are a couple key things you need to do to make the perfect sugar cookie.
- Do not overbake. When the cookies start lightly browning around the edges, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack immediately to keep them from baking any more.
- CHILL YOUR DOUGH!!!! This is probably the most important thing to remember so that your cookie holds it's shape. It will also keep you from having to use too much flour while rolling the dough out, leaving you with a "too-much-flour" taste in your mouth. I usually make my dough the day before I need it and let it chill overnight.
So those are my two tips... on to the recipe!
Suzanne's Almondine Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp milk
6 cups all-purpose flour
- Cream the butter and shortening in a mixing bowl until smooth.
- Add the sugar and cream until fluffy.
- Add one egg at a time, beating between each addition.
- Add the baking powder, extract, salt and milk all at once. Mix well.
- Add the flour, one cup at a time. You don't need any more flour than this. Too much flour, and your dough will be too tough. Too little, and your dough will be too sticky. So unless you live in a strange place, this is all you need. I've made these cookies in very humid conditions (southeast Georgia) and very dry conditions and have never had to alter my recipe.
- Chill overnight.
- When rolling out your dough, do not roll too thinly. Use as little flour as possible when rolling.
- Do not overcrowd your cookie sheet. Give these cookies room to expand a little without fear of bumping into a neighbor.
- Preheat your oven to 375*. Make sure it's been heated through (about 30 minutes).
- Make sure you rotate your cookie sheets when they're in the oven. Swap to a different shelf so you get even baking. I've even tried baking these on convection and have had uneven baking, so keep a watchful eye on these babies.
- Cookies will be done baking between 7-10 minutes. Pull from the oven just when the edge start looking slightly brown. Don't be afraid if they look too blond. That means they'll be perfectly soft!
- Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Can be held in an air-tight container for 3-4 days (unfrosted), and up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Frost. I use a buttercream frosting vs. royal icing. Use whichever you prefer.
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp butter extract
4-5 Tbsp half and half or cream (cream is preferred)
Cream butter and shortening until smooth. Add the extracts, mix. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with cream until it pulls together. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream. Tint with coloring paste and use a spatula or piping bag to decorate your cookies.