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Friday
Mar222013

« The Best {Rolled} Sugar Cookie Ever »

OK, it is time to let you in on a little secret. I just discovered the best rolled cookie dough ever......

This recipec comes from The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle, a cookie decorating website that I follow. Sugar Belle describes herself an artist, who "expresses herself in cookies". But if you ask me, she is actually an amazing amateur baker, who has nailed the art of baking and decorating sugar cookies! 

So what is so special about this dough? Here are my thoughts:

  • The recipe is extremly easy to make, and can be flavored to your liking. (Call me crazy, but I just picked up some pure orange extract to try; this last go-around, I used vanilla which is very traditional and yummy in its' simplicity.)
  • It doubles well.
  • It doesn't need to "rest" in the refrigerator before being rolled out -- which saves a lot of time and aggravation.
  • The dough is neither sticky, nor stiff -- which means that you need very little flour to roll it out and can achieve a consistent thickness.
  • The dough lifts easily away from the cookie cuts, and the scraps can be re-rolled without a problem.
  • The cookies spread minimally, despite a large amount of leavening
  • According to Sugar Belle, they freeze well (I have personally never tried).
  • They are delicious!

 Some additional notes/thoughts:

  • Making rolled cookies is an act of love and patience. Don't attempt to make them if you are tired or in a hurry. Nothing good will come of it.
  • It is really important to have a clean and un-cluttered work area. 
  • Roll the dough directly onto parchment paper. This completely eliminates the need to move the raw cookies to the cookie sheet and it makes clean up a lot easier. I use a new sheet for each batch. Not sure what the more seasoned cookie bakers do?
  • If you are going to decorate your sugar cookies, they need some heft to them. If the cookie is too thin, it won't stand up to the weight of the royal icing.
  • Although it is very tempting to maximize the number of cookies you get per sheet -- restrain yourself. If there is not adequate space between the cookies, they will spread into each other as they bake. 
  • Sugar cookies should never get brown around the edges. (In the cookie world, over-cooked sugar cookies are a cardinal sin.)  I normally bake 2 sheets of (drop) cookies at a time -- switching the position of the sheets half way through. I find that this does not work well with these cookies, as the bottom of the oven is too warm for their liking. Again, there is no rushing these cookies along.
  • Let them cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  • Sugar Belle only decorates "day-old" cookies, to prevent oils from leaching into the royal icing. I am not sure if this helps, but she is the expert and who am I to argue? 

The printable recipe is here.

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