Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sugar Cookie Showdown Soup Wednesday


For a long time, years really, I've been on the hunt for the perfect sugar cookie recipe. I've found there are three or four variations to what seems to be a basic recipe and made three of them for dessert. Two awards were given and so I'll share these recipes here. However, they will then go into the "family vault" and be under lock and key. Which is a fancy way of saying if I don't put it here, I'll never find it again.

Alright - the award for Best Sugar Cookie without Icing was awarded to this recipe:

Grandma's Favorite Sugar Cookies

1 cup white sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1/2 cup corn oil (I used canola)

Cream sugars and butter together. Mix beaten eggs, vanilla, and corn oil in. Add dry ingredients. Mix all ingredients well and chill overnight.

Bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

I don't know why they say that about not overcooking them. I'm pretty sure anyone who knows how to make cookies realizes you don't overcook or they burn and then have to be thrown away. Big waste of time. But whatever, that's what the recipe says, so I wrote it in there for you.

Second award was for Best Iced Sugar Cookie:

Butter Sugar Cookie Recipe

1 cup salted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups unbleached flour (unsifted)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In mixing bowl with wooden spoon or in heavy duty mixer, combine butter and sugar using low speed with mixer. Do not overmix.

Add egg, cream, vanilla and almond extract all at once to butter/sugar mixture. Mixture will probably look curdled. Mix just until combined.

In separate bowl, mix flour with baking powder. Add dry ingredients to liquid. Mix to form a dough.

Give dough a quick knead, then roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Or at this point, shape the dough into 2 discs, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Bake on parchment lined sheet until set and very lightly browned around edges, about 8 minutes. Cool before decorating.

Obviously a professional decorators recipe.

Ok, a couple of things I have learned over my years of searching - if you are not inclined toward either almond or vanilla extract, substitute one for the other. They're interchangeable depending on your taste - so go ahead!! Also, I only have unsalted butter, so I added 1/4 tsp salt to the Butter Sugar Cookies.

I will go on record as saying anything with whipping cream is bound to be delicious.

I hope you have a wonderful Friday and weekend!!

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