My mom makes some pretty stellar sugar cookies. I always loved making sugar cookies with her growing up, but I’m sure she probably could have made more cookies out of each batch if I wasn’t around. You see, I’m a dough eater from way back. I just can’t help myself, salmonella be damned.
That’s how I knew these cookies were going to be delicious: the dough. They had the perfect amount of sweetness where you could eat them plain or put sprinkles or frosting on them. I played around with the amounts a little, but I think I hit just the right note with the amount of sugar and vanilla. The vanilla is what really makes these, I think.
For this batch I made fox cookies. My son’s elementary school’s mascot is the fox and my husband is on a softball team made up of dads from the school (the “Foxy Dads”) and I made these for the last game of the season. When I saw this fox cookie cutter at Williams-Sonoma, I knew I had to have it. I figured, by the time both kids have gone through 5th grade, we’ll have been involved in the elementary school for about 8 years so there will be plenty of opportunities to use it. I’m not sure what the middle school mascot is, but the high school is the Centaurs. Maybe by the time my kids are in high school, Williams-Sonoma will have come out with a half man-half horse cookie cutter. I’ll have to keep my eyes open…
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add this a little bit at a time to the mixer and mix until well combined.
Separate the dough in half (to make it easier to work with). On a floured surface, roll out your dough to about a 1/4″ thick. I like my cookies on the softer side, so I make the dough a bit thicker. If you like a crisper cookie, make the dough a bit thinner.
Use whatever shape cookie cutter you want to cut out the cookies.
Put the cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 8-9 minutes. If you do a thinner cookie, you’ll probably want more of a 7-8 minute baking time. Start on the lower end and then if you need to add more time, you can.
Move the cookies to a rack to cool before frosting.
For decorating, if you want to add sprinkles, you can do this before you bake them. If you want to frost them, you can do it your usual way or try my trick. When I don’t make my own frosting, I like to take the canned kind from the grocery store and put however much I need in a bowl. Then microwave it in 15 second increments until it is just melted.
Then I just sort of smooth it on with the back of a spoon. I just really like how smooth the frosting comes out when I do it this way.
These were so good. I will definitely be making these in Christmas shapes later. And probably in other shapes all year round for whatever reason I can come up with. Like a party or another holiday. Or, you know, a Tuesday.
*Bonus: you can freeze the dough to use later. Just make sure it is wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and put in a freezer bag. It should be good for about 2 months