I’m going to have to cheat. It’s my Twelve Days of Christmas, so I can cheat, just a bit. I know you’ll let me because you’re nice like that.
Besides, it’s either that, or stay up ridiculously late(er than I’m already staying up) and post poorly-lit photos . . . bad idea on both counts.
I’m splitting the ‘sugar cookie’ concept into two separate posts. I’m giving you a basic sugar cookie recipe, and that’s it. No decorations today – just your empty palette.
This may just be the finest sugar cookie recipe you’ll meet on this side of mortality. It’s soft, but firm enough to hold up as you decorate. And the vanilla/almond flavoring is just perfect. The original recipe is from Bake at 350, home of the lovely and ultra-talented Bridget. I’ve tweaked it just slightly to fit my personal tastes, but honestly – Bridget’s version doesn’t need anything more than slight tweaking.
Christmas is exactly 6 days away! Don’t let this week slip by without whipping up some sugar cookies.
Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies
adapted from Bake at 350
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
Cream the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the egg and extracts, and mix just until incorporated. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently. The dough may be a little crumbly, so knead it together a little bit with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl.
Form into a disc, and wrap in plastic wrap. Let it sit in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into shapes. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
(Form any remaining dough into a disc, and rewrap with plastic wrap. Let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes before rolling out again.)
Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the tops look mostly dry, but edges aren’t browned yet. Let them sit for 2-3 minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.