Sugar cookies are easy to make at home when you start with a great sugar cookie recipe. To ensure success, bring all of your ingredients to room temperature. Sift dry ingredients before adding to wet ingredients. Here is my favorite sugar cookie recipe.
Basic Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars for two minutes at medium speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, and thoroughly mix after each addition. Add vanilla. In another bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the dry mixture to the mixture slowly until all the flour has been incorporated. Place dough in a bowl or plastic bag and refrigerate for an hour or longer. Roll out dough onto a parchment covered board to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with your favorite cookie cutter. All of the same size cookie shapes should bake together. If not, smaller cookies will burn before larger cookies are cooked.
Place your cutout cookies onto a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. The yield of this recipe varies depending on the size of the cookie cutters you use.
Important Cookie Dough Tip: Cookie cutters should be used close together to cut out the cookie dough. This eliminates re-rolling the dough over and over which makes your baked cookie tough. Press the cookie cutter down into the cookie dough and then wiggle a little to get a clean cut. Remove cookie cutter.
Flavoring Fondant: Fondant can be flavored using concentrated candy flavors to enhance the flavor. It only takes a little candy flavor kneaded into the fondant to add the desired flavor. Kids love the bubble gum flavor.
How to Quickly Decorate Your Baked Sugar Cookies with Fondant: Use store-bought brands of fondant to quickly decorate your baked sugar cookies. To use the fondant out of the package, you have to cut it into smaller pieces, and then knead the fondant until pliable. You can then put it all back together and knead it into a ball. Place in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out. Take out a portion of the fondant and roll it thin, about 1/8″ thickness. Use the same cookie cutter to cut out the fondant and then set the fondant cutouts on a wax paper sheet until you cut them all out.
Take a food-safe brush and a little piping gel to paint the center portion of the baked sugar cookie, and then apply the fondant cutout on top. Gently smooth the fondant cutout onto the baked sugar cookie so that it completely attaches to the cookie. Set aside, and repeat with the remaining baked sugar cookies.
To decorate the top of the sugar cookies, you can use simple decorating tools or items you have in the kitchen that can create imprints in the fondant (forks, clean lace, or cake decorating tools). You can also add a thin layer of piping gel on top of the fondant, and then apply sanding sugar on top of the piping gel, and shake the cookie to remove the excess.
Once you are done decorating all of the baked sugar cookies, you need to allow the fondant time to set before placing the cookies in cellophane bags or stacking them on a cookie tray. It usually takes fondant 12-24 hours to set.