Holiday cookie baking has officially begun.
Actually, I started baking cookies a few weeks ago. As soon as the cookies have cooled I store them in freezer friendly bags pop them in the freezer. Yes, you can really do that and yes, they really taste just as delicious as the day I baked them. Most people are surprised that you can freeze cookies, but it’s the only way to do it really when you make tons of cookies and obviously aren’t going to make them all in one day. The only trick is trying not to eat them before you give them away. 😉
I’ve blogged about a few sugar cookie recipes. They’ve all been delicious and I still recommend them, however, there is one catch. Those cookies spread a bit when they bake, some more than others, and that bothers me. I’ve tried a variety of techniques that people swear stop the cookie from spreading but I’ve never had any luck. I’ll admit that maybe those methods may have reduced the spreading but they don’t prevent it, at least not enough for my liking. Maybe I have high expectations? (My husband is nodding yes.)
The past few cookie baking seasons start with me looking for a new sugar cookie recipe, a baking technique, or both. This year was no different. I found this sugar cookie recipe last year but I decided not to try it because the recipe calls for a lot of cornstarch. I’ll be honest, the thought of that much cornstarch in my cookies kind of grossed me out because I thought they might taste like cornstarch. I decided to put my fears of “cornstarch cookies” aside and finally give it a shot.
Drum roll please… Guys, these cookies did NOT spread at all! I thought this day would never come, never. We’re talking laser edges.
And more importantly, you do not taste the cornstarch! These cookies have the delicious quintessential sugar cookie flavor. The outside is crunchy and the inside is tender. Seriously, these are the best roll out sugar cookies that I’ve ever made, by far. Okay, to be clear, they’ve all been good, but these just literally don’t deform while baking and as a perfectionist, that impresses the heck out of me.
Let’s talk about icing for a second. I’m horrible at icing cookies so I used store bought frosting and added sprinkles on top. While I’d love to be an artist and create a masterpiece of a cookie, I think it’s all about a good cookie and creating memories. Decorate them with your loved ones (regardless of age) and it doesn’t matter if they look messy or pretty. Those are the moments you will remember. (I’m a bit mushy, but that’s what happens when one watches a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies.)
Sugar Cookies Recipe
(Makes about 32 small tree shaped cookies)
Note: This recipe requires that the cookie dough be chilled for about 30 minutes.
- 4 cups all purpose flour (equivalent to 480 grams)
- 1/3 cup cornstarch (equivalent to 40 grams)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter (equivalent to 2 sticks), room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt into a large bowl and then whisk everything together. Set these try ingredients aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together. (Make sure that the butter is room temperature.)
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix everything until it’s well combined. (The dough will be crumbly at first but keep mixing and I promise it will come together.)
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Once the oven has preheated, take the cookie dough out of the refrigerator.
- Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough. (I took half of the cookie dough because I think it’s easier to work with. Then I mushed it together into ball. I placed it on the work surface and pressed it down to get it started. Then I used the rolling pin to roll them out.)
- Roll the cookie dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out your cookies and then place them a cookie sheet that has been lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. (My cookie cutter is a 3 inch tall tree. Bigger shapes means less cookies, smaller shapes means more cookies.)
- Bake them for 12 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the baking time. I store the raw cookie dough back in the fridge in between batches. This makes it easier to roll out again for the next batch.
- Let the cookies rest on the hot pan for 5 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Source: Preppy Kitchen