There’s something about a basic sugar cookie that can be so satisfying. It’s pleasing with its uncomplicated flavour and versatility, and really brings me back to the times when I played with neon pink and green icing, trying to pipe the most intricate designs (making a mess, really) and spamming those rainbow sprinkles on every conceivable surface (more = more better).
Then, as I grew up, I eventually figured that less was more, when it came to decorating these. So, instead of the mega-elaborate creations coated with every single colour of icing available, every type of sprinkle, and those silver sugar balls (as many as I could fit on whatever remaining surface), I now ice these with white and dark chocolate.
…And maybe some sprinkles.
Can’t resist. But anyway, here’s a basic recipe for roll-out sugar cookies! Scooped cookies or piped cookies are plenty fun, but there’s just something extra special about using your favourite cookie cutter (I got a new cloud cookie stamp from my best friend! It’s so preeeettty.) and baking these babies, AND DECORATING THEM.
The little twist in this recipe is the addition of a small percentage of corn flour together with plain flour. I find that corn flour really adds a light meltiness to the cookie that is beyond the aerating effect of baking powder. But if you don’t have corn flour, just use all plain flour and you’ll end up with a good ol’ sugar cookie as well.
Sugar Cookies (makes about 20 medium sized cookies)
- 200g plain flour
- 30g corn flour
- 110g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla paste/ extract
- Melted dark/ milk/ white chocolate, or any other frosting you like!
2. Add the egg, a little at a time, and beat thoroughly. Add the vanilla paste and beat in as well.
3. Sift the baking powder, salt, and flours (at this point, if adding extra flavourings eg. cocoa powder, fold it in with the flour), and fold it into the batter in thirds.
4. A stiff dough should result. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes. If you’re impatient like me and want cookies ASAP, you can skip refrigeration… but it’s better if you don’t.
I split the dough into half and added a tablespoon of cocoa powder to one half- just because it’s pretty difficult to choose between plain and chocolate cookies…
5. Flour the surface and roll out the cookie dough to approximately 0.5cm. Stamp away with your cookie cutters! (If you don’t happen to own cookie cutters… fret not. Most kitchen items can be used as a cookie cutter- think, bottle caps and small glasses)
6. Bake at 180 degrees celcius for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and get set to decorate!
another variation- sandwich cookies with red currant jam frosting/ lemon frosting!
Sugar cookies are also pretty flexible and forgivable guys- they can be flavoured with pretty much anything- a tablespoon of cocoa powder, matcha, lemon zest, rosemary, cinnamon, mixed spice, etc. Perhaps switch up white caster sugar for some brown sugar for that deep sweetness, or a proportion of the flour for ground almonds. If you’re not adding in an ingredient that is already powdered, make sure to chop them up as fine as possible to ensure that everything is evenly distributed (and to aid the rolling of the dough as well).