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Sugar Cookies with Sugar Icing

2 ½ cups white whole wheat flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 ½ teaspoons if not using almond extract)
¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)*
sugar icing

solid measuring cups
solid measuring spoons
small bowl
small whisk
electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or large bowl and electric hand mixer
rubber spatula
plastic wrap
flat surface
rolling pin
cookie cutters
insulated baking sheets
parchment paper
cooling racks

1. In the small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In the bowl of the mixer, on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until well mixed. With rubber spatula, scrape down beater and sides of bowl.
3. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down.
4. Add vanilla extract and almond extract (if using) and beat until thoroughly mixed. Scrape down.
5. Add flour mixture in fourths, mixing at low speed until thoroughly mixed. Do not over mix.
6. Scrape dough from beater. Turn dough out onto plastic wrap. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk.
7. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
8. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and roll dough to ¼ inch thick with lightly floured rolling pin.
9. Dip cookie cutters in flour and press into dough to cut out cookies.
10. Remove cut cookies to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place cookies at least 1 inch apart. Reroll dough scraps and repeat.
11. Preheat oven to 350°F.
12. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate cut cookies on baking sheets for at least one hour. This helps the cookies to keep their shapes and reduce spreading in the oven.
13. Remove plastic wrap and bake on center rack for 10-12 minutes, until just beginning to turn golden around the edges.
14. Remove baking sheets to cooling racks. Allow to cookies to set for 2 minutes.
15. With spatula, remove cookies from baking sheets. Allow to cool directly on cooling racks until completely cooled.
16. Decorate as desired with sugar icing, using either pastry bags with #3 tips (or smaller) or clean paintbrushes reserved for this purpose.

Yields about 40 2”-3” cookies

* Because of the prevalence of severe nut allergies among children, it is advisable to omit the almond extract if serving to children whom you do not know.
© 2008 by Allison Lattman

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