This recipe is from my friend Meg and makes a very good yet simple cut sugar cookie.
3 sticks butter (room temperature)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4-5 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
In stand mixer, beat butter to soften. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl between additions. Add sugar and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add slowly to mixer and mix just until well combined.
Chill dough for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
Tips on rolling out dough:
- Dust counter with flour and roll out no more than 1/4 of the dough at a time, keeping the remaining portions in the refrigerator.
- Roll dough to 1/4” – 1/6” thickness. Not too thin or they will not be soft
- If cut when dough is still cold, the cookies will puff up and lose their shape. Work dough with your hands to bring to room temperature to roll out and cut and the cookies will hold their shape really well.
- Place cut cookies on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and refrigerate or freeze before baking.
Bake cut cookies at 375 F for 6-8 minutes. Just before the edges turn light brown; tops will be firm to press. Allow to cool completely and decorate with royal icing.
This picture shows the difference between a cookie cut with the dough at room temperature (top) and one that was cut when the dough was cold fresh out of the refrigerator (bottom). While the dough is easier to work with cold fresh out of the refrigerator, the cookie puffs up and loses some of the definition in the shaped cookie. The room temperature dough gives a much cleaner and prettier finished product.
Once baked, cookies can be frozen until you are ready to decorate them and then they can be frozen once decorated also until ready to serve. Just allow to thaw at room temperature.