These sugar cookies are the classic, traditional, roll them out on the counter and cut them with cookie cutters cookies. They’re fun to do with kids. And because the glaze dries hard, you can stack these cookies on a tray, or pile them in a cookie jar, and they won’t stick together.
Traditional Sugar Cookies
2 ½ cups flour
¾ cup sugar – use superfine sugar or berry sugar, if you can get it
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cool but not cold, cut into 16 pieces
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk
Food coloring (optional)
Dump the flour, sugar, and salt into your mixer, and run the mixer on low to whisk them together. With the mixer still running on low, add the butter one piece at a time. Continue mixing until the dough looks crumbly and slightly wet. Add the vanilla and cream cheese. Mix on low until the dough starts forming large clumps.
Using your hands, work the dough into a large ball. Split the ball in half and make each half into a disk about 4 inches across. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Take one disk out of the refrigerator and roll it between two sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper. You want it to be nice and even, about 1/8 inch thick.
Slide the rolled dough, parchment paper and all, onto a cookie sheet and put it in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. Roll out the second disk while the first disk is chilling.
Turn the oven on and preheat to 375F.
Get the first pan of rolled-out dough out of the refrigerator and slide it onto the counter. Peel the top layer of parchment paper off the dough.
Put a clean sheet of parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
Use cookie cutters to cut out whatever shapes you like. Carefully move the cut-out cookies to the cookie sheet. Leave about an inch and a half between cookies.
You can re-roll the scraps to make more cookies. Roll between parchment paper sheets and refrigerate the dough just like you did with the first rolling. Super picky people say you shouldn’t re-roll more than once, but I do.
Bake about 10 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are light golden brown.
Cool the cookies on a rack to room temperature.
Once the cookies are cool, you can decorate them. If you’re going to decorate the cookies with sprinkles, raisins, or anything else, have them all ready to go when before you make the glaze. Because the glaze dries hard, you have to add the decorations while it’s still wet.
In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, milk, and corn syrup together, then whisk in the food coloring if you’re using it. The glaze should be thick, but not too thick. Try icing one cookie with it. It may have marks from spreading when it first goes on, but within half a minute or so, it should even itself out. If it’s too thick, dribble in a bit more milk and try again.
Ice two or three of the cookies, then add any decorations. Repeat until you’ve done all the cookies.
Allow the sugar cookies to rest on a rack until the glaze is completely dry.
Recipes for Pascha and St. Nicholas Day: Whether you want simple or fancy, healthy or decadent, I’ve got cookie recipes that you’ll love.
Alex’s Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe: This three-ingredient recipe makes the best peanut butter cookies you’ve ever had.
The Baker’s Dozen: A Review: In this retelling of an American folk tale, a baker who is scrupulously honest, but stingy, learns a better way to count.
Buy the Books!
These delightfully diverse books provide disability representation (Elizabeth, one of the main characters, is an ambulatory wheelchair user). They also give Orthodox Christian children the rare opportunity to see themselves in books, and children who are not Orthodox the chance to see cultural practices they may not be familiar with.
FINALIST IN THE 2015 USA BEST BOOK AWARDS
Catherine doesn’t like vegetables. She doesn’t like naps. She doesn’t like it when her mom combs her hair. She loves hot dogs, chocolate cake, and her best friend, Elizabeth. Most of all, she loves Pascha! Pascha, the Orthodox Christian Easter, is celebrated in the middle of the night, with processions and candles and bells and singing. And Catherine insists that she’s not a bit sleepy.
Celebrate the joy of Pascha through the magic of a book: Catherine’s Pascha. Available on Amazon, Bookshop.org, and my webstore.
The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
Shoes or stockings? Horse or sleigh? Does St. Nicholas visit on December 6 or on Christmas Eve? Will a little girl’s prayer be answered? When Elizabeth has to stay at Catherine’s house, she’s worried about her grandmother, and worried that St. Nicholas won’t find her. The grownups, though, are worried about snow.
Celebrate the wonder of St. Nicholas Day through the magic of a book: The Saint Nicholas Day Snow. Available on Amazon, Bookshop.org, or my webstore.