Today is the LAST day of school for my kids! I can’t believe the year has flown by!!! It’s bittersweet. We’re happy Summer is here and the fun in the sun can begin BUT they are growing up, as they tend to do, and I will miss the days of them being young.
This year I decided to make the teachers some home-made sugar cookies. There is nothing like the sugary goodness of a soft sugar cookie cut into fun shapes. And, since I have a plethora of cookie cutters I never use (seriously I have a problem), I figured roll and cut sugar cookies was a great choice.
I found a tag online that read “I’m One Smart Cookie Because of You!”. It was a free download from Dimple Prints and I’ve attached the link to it here. They have all sort of awesome printables on that site. Spend some time and check it out!
I love a super soft sugar cookie coated in a sweet frosting. Many people “flood” their cookies with icing using a watered down royal icing. This creates a flat, even layer of smooth and shiny icing that looks just beautiful. I however, do not like the taste of royal icing. It smells weird, because of the meringue powder, and tastes gross (in my opinion). I’ve flavored it before but that didn’t do much good.
I, instead, decided to frost these babies with a yummy buttercream frosting. I used a standard “American” buttercream. This recipe will sort of dry and develop a slight crust on the surface of the icing. My only word of caution is be careful if you are going to stack buttercream frosted cookies on top of each other as the icing could get mashed or smear because it doesn’t dry hard like the royal icing option.
At this point I would typically share with you a recipe. But since many of the “roll and cut” recipes are pretty much the same (just do an internet search for “roll and cut sugar cookies”), I’m instead going to share some tips with you. Many people have problems with their sugar cookies not because of the recipe but because of something that happened through the process of mixing and baking. So below are some tips that will help you bake up a perfectly soft and delicious sugar cookie!
- Measure your ingredients exactly according to the recipe. Seems like a no brainer, but many people will add a little here and there. OR they don’t level off their dry ingredients with a spatula or butter knife. (Leveling off dry ingredients is where you take a tool with a flat edge like a knife or spatula and drag it across the top of your dry ingredients already in the measuring cut to “cut off” and excess that doesn’t need to be added). Remember baking really is a science and you need to be as precise as possible.
- Don’t overmix! Many times people will turn the mixer on and let that baby rip! You want the dough to be just mixed not beat to death. Over mixing can result in issues…
- Chill it! Chill your dough for AT LEAST 2 hours! Chilling it makes it easier to work with. Any longer than that and you will end up dough that is too hard to work with and will end up having to be warmed up in your hands and worked with. It’s ok if it gets too cold, just requires a little more work.
- Get the right thickness. I roll mine out about 1/8 of an inch thick because I like a thicker cookie. Some prefer a thinner cookie. It’s totally up to you and your preferences. But remember the thickness, and amount of time in the oven, will affect the end result.
- Bake the correct amount of time. My recipe calls for a bake time of 4-8 min depending on the texture you’re going for and how hot your oven runs. (Most ovens are not truly operating at the exact temp you set it for. An oven thermometer is a good investment.) 4 min. was the magic number in my oven. It gave me extremely soft cookies and NO brown bottoms or edges. Absolutely perfect!
- Rolling it out. Use a lightly floured surface to roll the cookies out on. If you don’t like the flour then try powdered sugar.
- Cool. Once you pull the cookie sheet from the oven, let them sit for about 5 min. Then use a cookie spatula to move them onto a cooling grid. I never thought I would think a cookie spatula is a necessity for my baking arsenol but I LOVE it! It’s thinner than a regular spatula and allows you to get under the cookies easier.
I hope that these little tips help you when you make your next batch of sugar cookies!