Sugar cookies are a classic. A truly perfect sugar cookie tastes great alone, but can also be decorated with frosting, candies, sprinkles, etc.
Over the years, I have tried many, many different sugar cookie recipes, but none created the perfect sugar cookie that I wanted. There was always something a little off. Each recipe produced cookies with some flaw – some recipes made cookies that were either too crunchy or under baked (there didn’t seem to be a middle ground). Others created cookies that were too bland to eat without covering them in frosting. Still others were too chewy to work well with frosting.
Finally, I decided to go “off recipe,” and managed to create the perfect sugar cookies.You can roll them out nice and thick, and still create a cookie with just the right amount of crunch. They bake to the perfect light brown color – no over browning here! The lemon extract gives a subtle boost to the flavor, so they really are delicious by themselves. But, as you can see, they are also a lot of fun to decorate!
- 3½ cups AP flour
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup butter
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- In a small bowl, sift together (or combine with a whisk or fork) flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
- Using a mix, cream the butter and sugar until smooth.
- Mix in egg, and then add vanilla and lemon extract.
- Add dry ingredients (from step 1) about 1 cup at a time.
- When all dry ingredients are incorporated, form dough into a ball. If it is not smooth, you can knead it with your hands until it is. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, and separate it into 4 pieces for easier rolling.
- Place one piece of dough between two pieces of parchment or wax paper. You can also flour your work surface and rolling pin, but I prefer to use wax paper or parchment to keep the dough from sticking.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a ¼ inch thick sheet. I like to use rolling pin spacers to ensure that the dough is the same thickness all over.
- Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out cookies. Place cookies on a cookie sheet covered with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Bake for 7-11 minutes. In my oven, the cookies are perfectly cooked at 9 minutes, however, ovens vary.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
- Eat plain or use your favorite frosting to decorate them.