I haven’t made sugar cookies in a very long time. I’m pretty sure it has been well over a year — even close to two years! Sugar cookies are a process. You have to mix and refrigerate the dough, roll and cut the dough, freeze the cookies, bake them, make icing and ice the cookies, then wait until they fully dry or dry enough to add another color so that the colors don’t bleed.
That being said, sugar cookies are my favorite cookies to make — mostly because you can get pretty creative with them. Not to mention that I have an affinity for the crunchy royal icing and buttery cookie.
Last week, I decided to get the cookie cutters out and have a go at it again. We were celebrating Easter at our friend’s house and I wanted to make a treat for occasion and something for the two girls that lived across the street from them.
A sugar cookie wreath has been on my to-do list for quite a while. I’ve seen Christmas versions using poinsettias. My Easter version had “everything spring” plus a few crosses to remind us what Easter is all about. The base ring was cut with a paring knife, using a plate as a guide. Once the all cookies were iced and fully dry, I attached them to the pre-iced ring using royal icing. It sure makes a stunning presentation!
This wreath was a collaborative effort with my kids. When I pulled out the stained copy of my favorite sugar cookie recipe and watched my daughter use it as a spoon rest, I totally freaked out and said, “No! That’s my only copy!” That’s when it hit me — I didn’t have this recipe online! One of the main reasons why I blog is to store my recipes since I’m quite forgetful and tend to misplace items. I found this recipe on the Joy of Baking website over 10 years ago. They have since changed their sugar cookie recipe which is why I’ve kept a paper copy for so long. So for my sake (and hopefully yours) I’ve posted the recipe below.
I hope you enjoy!
A sugar cookie recipe adapted from an old recipe from the Joy of Baking website (joyofbaking.com). The sugar cookie recipe on their site has since changed but I find this version makes a sturdy and delicious sugar cookie.
- 3-1/2 cups (490 grams) All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Baking Powder
- 1 cup (227 grams) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups (300 grams) Granulated White Sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time until combined.
- Add vanilla.
- Gradually add flour mixture to the butter and sugar and beat until you have a smooth dough. Scrape bowl as needed.
- Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece in a plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until dough is firm enough to roll.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Lightly sprinkle rolling surface with flour or confectioners sugar. Roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8", giving it 1/4 turn each time your roll so that it doesn't stick to the surface. Cut out desired shapes and place it on to your baking sheet about 2 inches apart
- Freeze or refrigerate cookies while the oven is preheating.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place the rack in the center of the oven.
- Bake cookies, one sheet at a time for 11-15 minutes, until edges are slightly brown.
- Allow cookies to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Frost with Royal Icing or your favorite cookie icing.
Frosted cookies (royal icing) can be frozen in single layers placed between wax or parchment paper and stored in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
To serve pre-frozen cookies, remove from freezer and allow the cookies to come to room temperature in the container. Do not thaw cookies in the refrigerator or you'll end up with condensation on the icing.