Every year, I make sugar cookies for Christmas. It’s been a tradition for me since high school. The funny thing is, I have a love/hate relationship with sugar cookies. Don’t get me wrong. I love eating sugar cookies, but I remember the first year I made them I prepared the dough, rolled it out, used cookie cutters of all the holiday shapes you can think of and meticulously decorated each one uniquely with sprinkles, coloured sugar and silver dragées or cachous in all sorts of patterns. How did I end up hating the task of making these delicious cookies?
I brought a tub full of them to school to share with my friends. Eyeing my tub, a sneaky classmate of mine asked if he could have one. I though “no harm can be done by giving him one or two, I’ll have enough for my friends”. I gave him the tub so he could choose amongst the carefully decorated assortment of trees, candy canes, etc. I looked away for a second because a friend started talking to me and realized when it was too late that my classmate decided to share the tub with the whole classroom. He threw the empty tub back at me and I can’t tell you how disheartening it was to see.
Regardless of my situation, I would like to share this recipe I’ve used throughout the years. Despite being really upset at the time, I guess I can consider it a compliment because everybody wanted one and they seemed to have enjoyed the way they tasted. While I don’t decorate them as meticulously as I used to, I still put a lot of love and care in making them. This year, I made it easier for myself by dipping them into chocolate instead of fussing over the other decorative items. 😉
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup salted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt and mix.
3. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Then, add the egg and vanilla and beat until it is well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the dry ingredients (mixture from #2) little by little while mixing with the mixer on low speed. Don’t overmix or your cookies will be tough.
4. Gather the dough and flatten it into a square (or rectangle, if you prefer). Wrap plastic wrap tightly around it and refrigerate for minimally 1 hour so that it’s firm.
5. Take the dough out and plop it onto a floured surface. Roll it out so that it’s not too thin or too thick and then cut with cookie cutters. Place the cutouts onto a cookie sheet and decorate with sprinkles, coloured sugar, etc (if you would like). Gathering the remaining pieces of dough, roll it back together and repeat this step so that none of the dough goes to waste.
6. Bake cookies for about 10-15 minutes or so, but don’t let them brown. Once baked, transfer the cookies onto a flat surfaceto cool.
In the event you would like to dip them in chocolate, just melt some semi-sweet chocolate chips over a double boiler and then add some whipping cream until you get your desired consistency. Mix and once it’s fully melted, dip your cookies into the chocolate sauce and the place them onto a flat surface with parchment paper to cool.
And that’s how you make these yummy sugar cookies. It’s funny how after so many years I still remember this particular incident. I think it’s just because I learned how long it takes to make these cookies and there was no appreciation from my inconsiderate classmate. My tip of the day? Next time someone puts effort into making carefully crafted, time-consuming decorative cookies such as these, take some time to appreciate the work of art before inhaling it. 🙂