Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sugar Cookie Recipe - Update

Since I last posted about the sugar cookie recipe I like most, I have officially changed my mind.  I know, I know.  But, I really do like the Martha Stewart recipe best.  It just makes a ton of dough and makes delicious cookies.  A difficult feat.  They do tend to puff out more than I like, but that just means I have to roll the dough thinner.  And, don't let the cookies touch on the baking sheet.  This will make them rise more (but do touch biscuits against one another for more fluffiness).

Martha Stewart's Roll-Out Cookies (from Martha Stewart Living's July issue):
4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into large bowl.  Beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until pale and fluffy about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Reduce speed to low and add in flour mixture, then vanilla.  Refrigerate dough, wrapped in plastic, for at least an hour (but if you leave it too long it will be difficult to work with.  When this happens, I microwave it in 10 second intervals until it's pliable again).  Roll on floured surface until about 1/4" thick and cut into desired shapes.

Martha's recipe says to refrigerate cutout shapes for 30 minutes prior to baking and to bake for 17-19 minutes.  I don't always refrigerate and it only takes about 10 minutes for the cookies to bake when I do not.  Whether I chill the cut dough usually depends on my time, whether I'm concerned about the dough losing shape (chilling will retard any spreading/rising) and whether the shapes have appendages likely to break off (in which case, I do chill).  Regardless, do use greased parchment paper.  I usually get 2-3 dozen out of this dough, though it will obviously depend on the size of your individual cookies.  And, baking time largely depends on the size and thickness of the cookies and the temperature of the dough.  Just start checking it at 10 minutes until you reach the desired color.  Remember, you do not want the cookies to brown, but you don't want them to be too soft, either.

If you are concerned about your dough losing shape during baking, you must roll this dough out to be thin.  It does tend to puff more than the previous recipe I posted, but my husband swears they are much tastier.  They are a bit sweeter, I think.  The biggest reason I have been choosing this dough is because it's just a larger batch; therefore, it simply produces more cookies at once.

Happy Baking!

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