By MANDY POON
Whether it’s for a birthday, to say thank you, or for no reason at all, sugar cookies make the perfect present for your fam or friends. They have a homey flavour and can be easily customized for any occasion. And best of all, Bandits, they don’t require any expensive or complicated ingredients.
There just a couple things to remember when you’re making sugar cookies. First: be patient! They can take a little time and effort, but they’re worth it. And second: plan ahead and read the whole recipe through before you start – some of the steps take time.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed, softened but still cool
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
To make your dough:
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, add your sugars and your butter. Either using an electric mixer (or your Pilates muscles), mix them together. They should start getting light and fluffy after a few minutes.
- Add your egg and vanilla to the sugar-butter mixture and mix, mix, mix.
- Add the flour mixture into your wet batter, about a third at a time. Mix, mix, mix.
- Now take this dough and knead it into a ball. A good suggestion is to make three balls, because smaller pieces of dough are easier to roll it out later. If you want to add colour to one of your dough balls, add a little food colouring to it and knead the dough until the colour is fully dispersed.
- Wrap the balls with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
To make your cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and leave it out at room temperature for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, flour a clean counter and a rolling pin. Use lots of flour to make sure that the dough doesn’t stick to anything. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use a wine bottle with the label cleaned off, a long glass, or anything cylindrical you can get your hands on!
- Roll out the ball of dough to about a ¼ inch thick, and cut it into whatever shapes you like. If your dough is crumbly and difficult to work with, knead in some butter. Don’t worry, it will taste just fine! To make the cute button shape you can see in the photo, cut the dough out using a round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. Using a smaller round cookie cutter, glass, or the bottom of a mug, lightly press each cookie. Then use a skewer or a chopstick to make the little holes in the centre of the cookie.
- Put your cookies on a buttered cookie tray or a tray lined with parchment paper. Use a spatula to help you move the cookies from the counter to the tray. Sugar cookies tend to stick, and using your fingers may cause the cookies to rip.
- Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
You can package these cookies simply in a plastic sack tied with a pretty ribbon, or run to Dollarama for a cute box or cookie tin. Whoever the recipient, they’ll be sure to love your hard work. After all, they’re as cute as a button.