This is my new mixer. We’re pretty tight.
Cream butter and sugar.
After I use a vanilla bean, I toss it in with my sugar because there’s nothing wrong with extra vanilla.
I was making a quadruple batch here, so I used 4 eggs. Crack the egg in a separate bowl and dump it in to the fluffy butter and sugar. Why do you need to crack the egg into a bowl first? Well, maybe it’s just me, but the last time I tried to crack an egg directly into the mixing bowl while the beater was running, I accidentally dropped the whole egg in. It was pretty unfortunate.
Once you get the egg in, add the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Beat it a little more for good measure.
Turn the mixer off. Dump in flour the flour all at once. Yes, I know it’s scary, but it’ll be okay, I promise.
Turn the mixer on very low, being careful that it doesn’t start suddenly and spew a flour cloud across the room. Not that I’ve ever done that.
Once it’s combined, stick it in the fridge for a bit until you’re ready to use it.
And beware: the dough is irresistible, so don’t even bother trying to avoid eating it.
Soft Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cream (or milk works fine, too)
Vanilla extract (I usually use about two teaspoons of vanilla bean paste, but the same amount of vanilla extract will work great as well)
Pinch of salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add the egg and keep beating, then blend in the salt and vanilla. Dump the flour in all at once and mix on low until just combined. Refrigerate for a few hours, then roll it out and enjoy! After rolling on a lightly floured surface and cutting your shapes, freeze cookies for at least 15 minutes before baking to preserve crisp edges. I like my cookies thick so I bake them for about 9 minutes at 375, but check your cookies at about 6 minutes so you don’t over bake them if you made ’em thin. Makes about 2 dozen thick cookies.
*I always make the dough the day before and refrigerate it overnight, but if you’re short on time you can stick it in the freezer immediately after you make it for about an hour and it should be ready to roll by the time you’ve finished cleaning up and getting your royal icing ready.
* If possible, freeze the cut, unbaked cookies for an hour or even overnight for maximum spreadage-prevention, but if you don’t have time to freeze and bake them immediately, don’t worry about it. They’ll spread a tad, but they’ll still be very pretty and even more delicious.
*I leave out the baking powder because I want to preserve the shapes and prevent them from rising.