Perfectly Scrumptious Sugar Cookies

I can’t lie.  I got this recipe from a friend who got it from a friend who got it from… who knows where?  But I did alter the recipe some and did some fraction math for you.

The original recipe made a batch so big that it didn’t fit in my KitchenAid Artisan Mixer.  Not good.  I’ve tried halving the recipe and the cookies were gone too soon.  So this is 75%.  Makes tons of cookies for you to decorate and eat the cookie dough (don’t pretend you don’t do it!) and I’ve got cookies for more than 2 days.  Score!  One note about the recipe.  Notice that the milk is optional.  Only add the milk if you notice that the dough is crumbly.  Make sure to check the bottom of the bowl!  While mixing, add the milk a tablespoon at a time.  Stop adding when you see no dry crumbs.

After making this dough, take out a third or so of it to roll out and keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator.  If you keep it sitting out, then the butter will start to melt and will make rolling out the dough much more harder and ickier.  Also, when you’re rolling out this dough, you don’t need a ton of flour to keep it rollable (my new favorite word!).  If you add too much flour, then you no longer have nice soft cookies.  😦   So how much flour should you add?  I take a big pinch of flour and sprinkle a dusting of it on my counter.  With that same flour in my hand, I sprinkle a tiny dusting on top of the dough.  Then I take the rest of it and rub my rolling pin with my fingers.  One of the reasons why this is such a great recipe is that it is super easy to work with so you shouldn’t need to add much flour.  Once I do my initial dusting, I sometimes need to lightly dust the top of my dough and rub my rolling pin.  You should only add flour after the first dusting when the dough is sticking to the rolling pin.  Don’t add for fun.  😉

When you’re ready to transfer the cut-out cookies to the cookies sheet, it can be a little daunting!  I find the best way is to use a thin edged spatula.  You can even rub the edge with flour if you’re having trouble with sticking.  This recipe doesn’t do much puffing during baking so you can keep the cookies pretty close together.  I find the only problem I run into is not leaving enough room for my spatula!

Let’s chat a bit about baking…  Make sure you don’t leave them in the oven too long unless you want crispy (ewwww!) cookies.  You can refer to this post to learn how to make sure you’re not over-baking.  With these sugar cookies, you can even take them out when they are more wet-looking than the cookie in that post.  Don’t decorate until the cookies are completely cool unless you want melted icing.  I decorated the circle cookies.  My 4 year old made a monster star cookie.  And I helped my 2 year old decorate the heart.  He got a little overzealous pushing the mini chocolate chips in the cream cheese icing.  Enjoy the cookies!

Perfectly Scrumptious Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup shortening

2 1/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

5 1/4 cup flour

1 to 2 Tbsp milk (optional)

Cream the butter, shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Add the baking powder and salt.  Add the flour mixing one cup at a time.  Check the dough for any crumbling.  If there is, add the milk one tablespoon at a time until there are no crumbs.  Take a third of the dough to roll out and keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.  Roll out to about a 1/4 inch thickness and cut out desired shapes.  Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 8 minutes.  Cool cookies completely before decorating.

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