I mentioned in my roundup of favorite holiday cookies that I've never really been a fan of plain white cookies. That is, until I made the raspberry thumbprint cookies. And now, these! I think I'd just grown accustomed to having crunchy, dry, flavorless sugar cookies. That is just simply NOT the way I think a sugar cookie should be!
These cookies were PERFECT. I did a combination of vanilla and almond extracts, just enough to give these cookies a deliciously sweet flavor. The key here is to not roll them too thin, and to not overbake them. As with many cookies I post, and probably most cookies everywhere, they will NOT LOOK DONE when you should take them out of the oven. You'll think "Oh, just another minute!" and then when you take them out and wait for them to cool, you'll discover you've overbaked them. Too late! Trust me on this one: take them out early.
I made these in all sorts of shapes for a cookie decorating party I had with some girlfriends a few weeks ago — stars, snowflakes, boots, MOOSE!, candy-canes, etc. This dough was incredibly easy to work with, and I didn't have any trouble with stickiness. While we decorated quite a few, I had a bunch leftover and ended up eating them all plain: they were so good they didn't need frosting! No more crunchy/gross sugar cookies — these are soft, moist, hold their shape, and definitely my go-to recipe from here on out. They can't be beat!
- 2 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 5 cups flour
- Cream the butter and sugar together until incorporated — do not mix until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely.
- Add the salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix until totally smooth.
- Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together.
- Wrap in plastic wrap, shaped into discs, and chill for one hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Roll the dough out to ¼" thickness on a lightly floured surface, cut your cookies and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes. If the edges are browning, you've cooked them too long.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for one minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Let cool completely before decorating.