Best Sugar Cookies
The best sugar cookies: even the cookie sheet you choose can make a difference?
The common problem of inproperly baked cookies may be caused by using the wrong cookie sheet. Before you resolve to bake only brownies, check out these suggestions:
For most cookies, use silver colored cookie sheets with a dull finish. Use cookie sheets with a shiny silver finish for cookies that shouldn't brown on the bottom, such as shortbread or macaroons. These finished cookies will be wider, thinner, and softer than those baked on dull cookie sheets. Use nonstick cookie sheets for thicker cookies that don't need to spread much. Insulated cookie sheets are best for pale drop cookies with soft centers. They are not recommended for shaped cookies or cookies with lots of butter. That's because the cookie dough will start to melt and leak before it gets hot enough for the shape to set. If cookies are left on insulated sheets until their bottoms brown, they are often too dry.
In order for cookies to bake properly, the heat in the oven must circulate evenly. To improve circulation, use only cookie sheets with either no sides or very low sides. Make sure the cookie sheets are at least 2 inches shorter and narrower than the oven rack. Because temperatures vary from oven to oven, watch baking cookies closely.
Once you have the right cookie sheet, try making sugar cookies with one of these sure-to-please recipes.
Perfect Sugar Cookies
1 ½ cups sifted confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1 cup butter or margarine (not soft spread)
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Allow stick of butter to reach room temperature. Mix with sugar. Add vanilla, egg, and almond flavoring; mix well. Stir in flour, small amounts at a time; blend well. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove half the dough from the refrigerator, keeping the other half chilled until ready to use. Roll 1/4 inch thick on floured board. The thinner the roll, the crispier the cookie. Thicker cookies will have a softer texture. To cut, dip cookie cutter or top of drinking glass into flour. Shake off excess and cut with steady pressure. Cut as many cookies from each rolling as possible because too much handling toughens dough. Place each cookie on lightly greased cookie sheet. Repeat with second batch of dough.
Bake 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately take from oven and remove cookies to wire rack. Makes about 5 dozen cookies. When cool, ice or decorate as desired.
½ cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, separated
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup nuts, finely chopped
jelly or icing
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla thoroughly. Blend in flour. Roll dough into balls using 1 teaspoon dough per ball. Beat egg white slightly with fork. Dip each ball in egg white and then roll in chopped nuts. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press thumb gently in center of each cookie.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack. When completely cool, fill thumbprint indentations with jelly or icing. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.