Friday, 15 April 2011

Vanilla Sugar Cookies (Easter themed)





Everyone loves holidays and everyone loves sugar cookies. So what can be better than Easter themed sugar cookies?

Sugar cookies are the simplest type of cookies to make and they always yield sweet buttery cookies with lovely texture. The Royal Icing frosting adds an interesting dimension to the cookie and brings out the creative individual in you. There is no hard and fast rule on how to decorate these babies. Just go crazy with colours and patterns!

Keeping with the Easter theme, I decided to make Chick Cookies. The cookie cutter was purchased from my local baking supplies shop for 70pence.  No reason not to try this recipe, its a cheap way to impress :) 

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Makes about 30-35 cookies (varies according to size of cookies)


Ingredients


300g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

225g salted butter, room temperature

225g sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon good vanilla extract


Method


  1. In a bowl, mix together sieved flour and baking powder and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I usually use a wooden spoon so it took about 4-5 minutes of vigorous mixing. If using an electrical beater, it should take about 3 minutes on medium speed.  
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat till fully incorporated. Next, add the flour in small batches, (essential to avoid clouds of flour making a mess on you!) until the dough starts pulling away from the side of the bowl. When all flour has been incorporated, take dough out and place it on a piece of parchment paper. 
  3. Knead until dough forms a smooth surface, as seen in the picture below.    
  4. Wrap the dough in the parchment paper and refrigerate or freeze (depending on whether you have waiting time to spare). If leaving dough in the fridge, this should take about 2 hours. However if left in the freezer, it should take between 15-20 minutes.
  5. Just before you take the dough out of the fridge/freezer, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees(C)/350 degrees (F).
  6. Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll until it is about 1/3 of an inch thick. By using parchment, there is no need to add flour during the cutting process. Too much additional flour makes the dough tough which causes bumps to form on the cookie during the baking process.  
  7. Cut the dough using your choice of cookie cutters and place cookies on a baking tray. Place the baking tray in the fridge for 5 minutes. This process ensures the cookies maintain their shape when baking.
  8. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until they take on a light golden colour.
  9. Let the cookies cool completely before decorating. 






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