I’m back with a post that I hope you take seriously. Sugar cookies people, they must be taken seriously.
This is my theory – there’s not anyone out there who doesn’t enjoy sugar cookies. (If you know of anyone, don’t tell me. I’d like to keep the fantasy alive.)
I mean, there are folks who aren’t so into peanut butter cookies (what?)…or those bizarre people who don’t like mint cookies (still don’t get that one) and then people claim you need to be ‘in the mood’ for a good gingersnap (who are these people?). But seriously – aren’t you always in the mood for a sugar cookie?
Scenario #1 – You had the worst day, one of those days where you’d like to just bang your head on a wall. Solution = sugar cookie.
Scenario #2 – You had the BEST day right down to hitting all the green lights both to AND from work. Boom. Sugar cookie.
Scenario #3 – You are nervous as all get-out because you have a job interview/olympic triathlon/big date/final exam etc. the next day. Heeeelllloooo….sugar cookie.
Scenario #4 – You want to bake something delectable but don’t want to spend the whole DAY in the kitchen. Enter….sugar cookies.
Scenario #5 – You want any excuse possible to not do what you know you should be doing (i.e. laundry…unpacking…laundry…loading the dishwasher…taking out the trash…laundry)…consume a sugar cookie
Ok, ok, you get my point. I believe sugar cookies fit every mood, any type of day you had and always seem to hit the spot whether you have a real sweet tooth or not. They’re just a magical cookie.
Now, sugar cookies are fun because you use cookie cutters and frosting etc. BUT, sometimes you may not have the time for the whole roll-out the dough/cookie cutter scenario. THIS is the recipe for you in that particular circumstance. This version (thanks to my favorite magazine Real Simple) of sugar cookies is quick, simple and results in cookies that are as tasty as they look. I DO want to share a roll-out dough/make fun shapes/decorate type of sugar cookie with you at some point on the blog. But that post is not this one.
These cookies I made for a Iowa State University (GO CLONES!) tailgate. Both of my parents and my younger brother are Cyclones, so we were down enjoying a tailgate in Ames, IA and these were the perfect addition to the spread that day. (That’s the reason for the cardinal red and gold frosting colors.)
You in the mood for a sugar cookie?! (Obviously rhetorical due to the argument above.)
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat, but you can use all-purpose if you’d prefer)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (yes, that’s 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I’ve explained why room temp butter is necessary in past posts, just trust me. Your beaters/mixer will thank you.)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the good stuff, if you have it!)
Glaze Frosting: (this is a pretty common recipe amongst many websites/blogs but I found mine here)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons milk
- food coloring to achieve your desired color palette
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Make:
Turn up the tunes that put you in a good mood (My roommate and I are currently huge fans of “Finally Found You” and “Heart Skips A Beat”. We highly recommend.). This should be the first step because tunage makes cooking/baking a lot more enjoyable, particularly when baking up sugar cookies. Add in a sous chef or two and the fun level just increases. Guaranteed.
Once the music is cranked, you’re ready to begin. Preheat your oven to 350 and go find two large-ish mixing bowls.
In the first of those bowls, whisk up the flour, baking powder and salt. Get everything mixed up well.
Now, mix up your butter and sugar in the other bowl. If you’re fancy with a KitchenAid (I didn’t have mine at this point, sadly) electric mixer, set your speed to medium high and go entertain yourself for 2-3 minutes. This is a great opportunity to dance to that excellent music you just put on.
For those without electric mixers, you can still dance. You just get to mix while you’re doing it. Multi-task.
Mix until everything is light and fluffy. Then, slowly beat in each of your eggs. Splash in the vanilla.
Now, on low speed, slowly mix in your flour. Do this in batches or you’ll end up with a huge flour cloud and an immediate need to clean your kitchen. Don’t overmix – you only want to mix until the batter is “just combined” when you turn the mixer off. Trust Real Simple. Don’t overmix.
Spray your cookie sheets with some Pam before dropping “heaping” (Real Simple’s word) spoonfuls of the batter on to your cookie sheet. 3×4 method always works!
The recipe suggests rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking process, but I just kept a close eye on them and I think you can bake without this step. Unless you have a finicky oven, then maybe you should do the rotating thing. I’ll leave that up to you. Key thing here – bake 12-15 minutes. Your cookies will get a little golden on top and that’s when you’re good to go.
Let them cool down (at least a little bit) before you try one. You WILL want a second. I’d bet just about anything on that.
If you are going to add any frosting, make sure the cookies are completely cooled. Or if you’re impatient like me, just know the frosting will be a little melty. As long as you’re alright with that, proceed.
To mix up your frosting (forewarning – this is more of a ‘glaze’ than a frosting), stir all (except the food coloring) your ingredients together. Once it’s all thoroughly mixed, start creating your desired color with your food coloring. Remember a few drops of color goes a looonnggg way, so start with a few and add more if needed.
Now I struggled with frosting the first few cookies. The knife wasn’t spreading the frosting well and I was getting frustrated. It was getting all gloopy.
Then I remembered the fun kitchen utensil that usually sits untouched in the drawer – the pastry brush! It’s PERFECT for applying this particular frosting/glaze because the liquid is fairly thin and you can move the glaze around on the cookie much better with the brush than a normal knife or spatula.
The frosting will harden, just give it a little time. You WILL be able to stack and pack these into Tupperware – we brought them on a 3 hour car ride and they survived just fine.
Now set these out for all your friends and just sit back and watch them disappear.