Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas sugar cookies

Super soft, not-too-sweet, topped with sugar

Tis the season to eat your weight in cookies! I told myself I would be good this year — then I baked these angel sugar cookies, did them up Christmas style, and my plans were shot to smithereens! These are my favorite homemade sugar cookies, period. I dare you to show me a more tasty recipe. No really, I'd love to bake your favorite sugar cookie, so if you have a recipe you really believe in, share it! The world needs all the sugar cookies it can get these days.

Here's what's so great about these sugar cookies: Number one, the texture. They just melt in your mouth! Number two, the sheer amount of cookies you can eke out of the batter — several dozen, if you make 'em small. Number three, they're easy to make: Mix up the dough, let it sit in the fridge for an hour or more, then you're off! Number four, you decorate them before you bake them, so all that's left to do once they're out of the oven is stuff your face full of cookies.

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2 large eggs
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups plus 2 TBS flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together eggs, oil, butter, sugars, and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate dough one hour. 

*Note: You can refrigerate for longer, you just might have to let the dough soften on the counter for a bit before you work with it again. 

2. Onto an ungreased cookie sheet, drop balls of dough (you can use a cookie scoop, or I just used a teaspoon measure). On the bottom of a round, flat drinking glass, smear a dab of butter, then dip the glass in granulated sugar. Use the glass to slightly flatten the remaining balls of dough, dipping it in sugar for each cookie as you go. Sprinkle each with colored sanding sugar before you bake. 

3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes (depending how large), until the cookies are just barely (and I mean barely) turning brown. I set my timer for 3 minutes, turned the baking sheet around in the oven, then baked for another 3 minutes exactly. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Be careful when storing these babies —  they're wonderfully soft and breakable.

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Recipe tips
When flattening the dough balls before baking, take care not to over-flatten. The cookies are more compact and cuter that way. Of course, it takes a little to get the hang of the perfect flat-ness. If any of the cookies turn out especially ugly, oh well! Guess you have to eat those on the spot to destroy any evidence. 

As for decorating, I think these cookies do best when you really pile on the sprinkles before baking. I used red, green, and rainbow sanding sugar, experimenting with the color placement. 

**Note: These cookies would NOT be good for frosting after baking. The texture is too light and crumbly, so over-handling them would probably mean curtains for your cookies. 

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