The best thing about sugar cookies is that they are so versatile, both in flavor and looks. On the flavor side you can add a vanilla bean to the dough, the zest from a lemon, lime or an orange, add cocoa powder for chocolate sugar cookies or even add almond or coconut extract. And on the look side you can cut out any shape, decorate them with stamps (someone’s initials for example), with Royal icing or with sugar paste. The possibilities are endless.
I made these cookies for my older daughter Kolla when she turned 13 earlier this month. I thought the were super cute and made the party all about her. She’s at that age where she does not like a birthday cake with her name on it ( I made her this Oreo cake, amongst others 😉 ) but she loved the decorated cookies.
For the decorations I colored some sugar paste with edible food colors and when the sugar cookies were cold I brushed them with a little bit of water, flattened out the sugar paste and cut it with the same cookie cutters that I used to cut out the cookies. I then transferred the sugar paste on to the sugar cookies and I used these to press the imprint onto the sugar paste.
Here is the recipe for the sugar cookies:
- 200 gr (1 3/4 sticks) soft butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups flour
- The seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- Heat the oven to 350°F
- In the electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until well mixed and just becoming creamy. Don’t overwork or the cookies will spread during baking.
- Beat in the egg until well combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed until a dough forms. Gather it into two balls, wrap them in plastic wrap (press a little on the ball to flatten it out a little) and chill for 30 minutes.
- Place the dough ball (one at a time) on a floured surface and knead it briefly. Cut out approximately 30 inches (80 cm) of parchment paper. Place the ball on one part of the paper and fold the rest over the dough. Roll it out to an even thickness. The parchment paper tends to slide on the countertop so I like to place a silicone mat under the paper and that stops it from sliding.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out the desired shapes and, using a spatula, transfer these on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill again for about 20-30 minutes.
- Bake for 8 – 12 minutes depending on size, until golden brown at the edges.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack. These cookies will keep well in a cool dry place for up to a month.
Have fun! 🙂