Ah, my 2nd blog post! Thanks so much to everyone that read the first post about my new journey! While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed making cakes & sweets over the past 3 1/2 years, I’m moving the business toward making less sweets, and teaching classes part-time instead. I love teaching, and this change allows me to being working full-time on my new wedding planning business, Olivia Grace Events!
Each week I’ll be sharing a post or two, to share recipes, and tips on how make pretty sweets, and yes, how to pull everything together for an affordable party! We all love a great party, but there’s no need to get crazy on the budget right?
I think we’ll start with sugar cookies!
They’re an endless canvas of creativity, and even better, these are one of those sweets you can make in advance of your event, and not be scrambling around doing them last minute! Who needs more stress? So let’s start with something super simple, the cookie itself!
After trying many, many, many (you get the point) recipes for sugar cookies, I kept going back to good ole’ Martha Stewarts recipe for “Ideal Sugar Cookies“, it has great flavor and they’re soft, not like the usual suspects that are good for use as frisbees in order use up the leftovers. You know the ones. Ick. BUT as much as I LOVE the flavor and texture, I made a little tweak. So, if you’re making sugar cookies to just whip on frosting or eat them straight from the oven, the recipe for Ideal Sugar Cookies is perfect, BUT if you’re looking to get fancy and decorate cookies, you’ll need to omit the leavening agent in the original recipe (see mine below), and voilà, they taste great, they’re still soft (read, no frisbees here!) AND they keep nearly a perfect shape!
Keep an eye out for next weeks post, which will teach you a fun way of decorating sugar cookies, that is not so intimidating…. and then we’ll move onto the world of piping cookies!
Here is the recipe I use to make my decorative sugar cookies! I say, on the safe side, this makes about 12 good sized cookies.
Trish’s Sugar Cookie Recipe
(Slightly tweaked from the original, delicious Martha Stewart “Ideal Sugar Cookies”)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whisk together flour & salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; mix until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add egg, milk, and vanilla; mix until well combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add reserved flour mixture, unless you wish to wear it! Mix until just combined.
- Transfer dough to your work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. YES, you must do this.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to baking sheets that are lined with either a silpat (yes please!) or parchment, leaving an inch in between, place entire cookie sheet into refrigerator, for 10 minutes or longer. Yes, again it’s a must-do, but I promise, you make this step, your cookies won’t look like a melted mess after they’ve baked. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. Bake until lightly golden, Martha says 10 minutes, I’ve had better luck with about 8 minutes, but not much more than that; do not allow to brown… remember we are avoiding frisbees here! I allow my cookies to cool on their sheets for about 5 minutes, for a few reasons. 1. I read somewhere long ago that my doing so, it helps the cookies retain their moisture, and it works! 2. It helps them cool off and helps keep your gingerbread men from losing an arm! Bonus! Transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Decorate with Royal Icing, optional. (Lots of testing in this area as well, this will be another post! There is a big difference in recipes)