This is my favorite sugar cookie recipe of all time. It makes the perfect dough that is easy to roll out and the cut out designs hold their shape perfectly. I use 1/4″ dowels as guides to roll the dough to a perfectly even thickness, but you can just estimate a 1/4″ if you don’t already have the dowels. This recipe is adapted from: Pretty Party Cakes: Sweet and Stylish Cakes and Cookies for all Occasions.
- 1 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 TB vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 3 cups (13.5 oz, 383 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- Cream your butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Do this just until no bits of butter remain un-incorporated. The key is to not over mix the butter, that way the cut out cookies will retain their sharp lines.
- Add the eggs, salt, and extracts. Mix until just combined.
- Add in the flour and mix until no dry bits of flour remain. Turn your dough out onto a very lightly floured counter and knead it a few times by hand to make sure the dough is evenly mixed. Divide the dough into two pieces and wrap them in plastic wrap. Place them into the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 3 days.
- Roll the cookies out a floured counter to the desired thickness. Then place them, evenly spaced on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Put them back in the refrigerator while your oven preheats.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees with the racks even spaced in the middle of the oven.
- Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through (that is if you are baking more than one tray at a time). The cookies will be still very light but they will be firm to the touch and slightly brown on the underside. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating them with royal icing.