Ahhhh…the simplicity of a sugar cookie. No caramel, no chocolate, no strange flavors or add-ins, just 7 simple ingredients coming together to make a cookie that tastes great plain (with a cup of tea or coffee) or with a quick slather of frosting for something a bit sweeter. Is there anything in life that’s as simple and pleasing as that? The easy sugar cookies…heavenly.
When I was a kid, making and eating sugar cookies at Christmas was something that I looked forward to. I don’t know if it was the flavors or putting all those fun decorations on there (thanks mom for not micro-managing the amount of sprinkles, dragees and other doo-dads I layered onto a single cookie). But as an adult, making homemade sugar cookies is not something I do all that often. It’s not about the calories, it’s more about the clean up. So many bowls, pans and little things here and there. UGH! That’s why I make candy at Christmas (much easier cleanup).
But when I was approached by OXO to bake cookies for their “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” fundraising effort, I just couldn’t resist. My inner child came screaming out with a “YES” and was so excited that she even committed to making and decorating sugar cookies. My inner child can be such a pain sometimes. (Just ask my husband Craig.)
OXO sent me the most amazing iced cookie set to help ease my cookie angst. There was a 3 piece cookie cutter set (they all nest together for easy storing – FINALLY someone looking out for my cluttered cupboards), a cookie sized spatula for lifting them off the baking sheet (no more mashing the other cookies to get one off the pan), an icing knife, a set of spatulas, measuring cups and measuring spoons. The only thing missing was the kitchen clean up elves.
I use a version of an old Gourmet Magazine (I so miss that magazine) sugar cookie recipe for my iced cookies. I love the simplicity of this recipe and the fact that if the recipe, as written, is a bit too dry I can add a touch of milk to give it the needed moisture without screwing up the final resulting cookies. It’s also makes the crisp sugar cookies I like, not the soft chewy one’s. (The better for dunking.)
I couldn’t decide if I should make all round, hearts or star cookies (from the set of cutters they sent) so I just made some of each. Then I couldn’t decide if I wanted them frosted or sugared – so I did both. Who doesn’t like choices?
The month of September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and OXO is heavily involved with Cookies for Kids Cancer as it was founded by 2 OXO employees whose child battled cancer. OXO is donating $100 for every blog post dedicated to childhood cancer and is also donating money to pediatric cancer for every OXO item purchased that has a green sticker on it that sayes “Cookies for kids’ cancer.” Here’s the list of eligible products you can buy to help make a difference.
I hope you’ll make these easy sugar cookies and help out this great cause. If you want to see more recipes that are being posted for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, you can go to Twitter and do a search under #OXOGoodCookies. Dorie Greenspan even has some recipes in there.
- Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 2½ Cups Flour
- ¾ Teaspoon Salt
- ¾ Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon Milk (optional)
- Easy Icing Recipe
- 5 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
- ⅓ Cup Unsalted Butter (melted)
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 7-8 Tablespoons Milk
- Sugar Cookie Recipe
- Add flour and salt to large bowl and whisk to combine then set aside.
- Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat for 3 minutes.
- Add egg and vanilla to mixer and beat to combine.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 batches. Just blend to combine. If dough seems too dry (it doesn't hold together when you pinch it, add in the milk and mix.)
- Divide dough in half, form into discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Let rest on counter for 30 minutes before rolling out.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly flour your work surface and roll out dough to desired thickness and cut shapes. Continue doing this until all of the dough is used.
- It's best if you lay the cutout cookies onto a parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet. This makes removing them much easier.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. Edges should just be slightly golden brown.
- Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing them to cooling rack.
- Easy Icing Recipe
- Sift confectioner's sugar into a large bowl then add remaining ingredients.
- Whisk to combine.
- Add any coloring at this time, if you want to make colored icing.
- Use an offset spatula to ice completely cooled cookies.
- This icing is pretty loose. Any lumps or bumps you see in the iced cookie should settle out as this icing is fluid and will settle. (You could even pipe this icing onto the cookies if you want more controlled lines.)
- Add any sprinkles immediately after icing the cookie, if you're going to use them, because this dries fast.
- Let cookies dry for at least 2 hours before stacking them.
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