Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Amazing All Purpose Sugar Cookie!

I love sugar cookies in all of their glory. Naked, as drop cookies. Rolled out and cut out. Iced and purty with sprinkles, or rolled up and sliced. There are so many ways to enjoy the delicious, ambitious sugar cookie.

Every Christmas I make them. This year I got smart and whipped up 6 batches of dough, and put it in the fridge so that I could manipulate it into what ever I wanted...when ever!

Here is my recipe for basic sugar cookie dough:
Sugar Cookies
2 sticks margarine (I use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy yogurt (vanilla, or plain)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

With an electric mixer, cream together margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add yogurt and vanilla extracts. Sift in flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until well combined. Divide into 4 equal pieces, wrap with plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate at least one hour. Use as desired.

Christmas Cutouts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough onto a well floured surface and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on a nonstick baking sheet (or line with parchment or a silicone baking mat) for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes, transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Allow to cool before icing.

Chocolate Dippers
Make one recipe of dough above. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll out to 1/8" thick. Use a 3 inch round cookie cutter (or a pint glass) to make round cookies. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. In a double boiler, container melt 12oz chocolate chips along with 1/2 bock (2oz) baker's wax (parowax.) Dip one half of the cookie into the chocolate and then set on wax paper to cool and harden. You can sprinkle on broken candy canes for extra Christmassy goodness.

Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels
Vegan or not, we all love to watch the Food Network. I especially love to watch during the holidays. All the specials!!! The other night I was watching Alton Brown making Christmas Cookies for the big guy (Santa) himself. I totally stole this idea from him! GENIUS!

Make one recipe of cookie dough above. Divide dough in half. In one half, knead in 1 cup of crushed candy canes. In the other half, knead in 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips and 2 tsp peppermint extract. On a floured surface roll out the chocolate dough to a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside. Repeat with the peppermint dough. Place one on top of the other and roll it up. Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and put it back in the fridge for at least an hour. When you are ready to bake them, preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Slice the log into 1/4 inch slices. Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
Make one recipe of dough above. Divide dough in half. In one half, mix in red food coloring. Roll dough into ropes about 1/2 inch thick and 6 inches long. Twist together one white and one red rope and shape into a candy cane. Bake 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from cookie sheet.


Anonymous said...

So many variations!!! I love it. =)

allularpunk said...

i love sugar cookies too. thanks for the recipe and all the ideas for variations! my mom made the candy cane cookies when i was growing up and i hadn't thought of them in so long :) can't wait to try it myself.

julie hasson said...

Yum! I love sugar cookies too, and all of your variations look great.

Happy holidays!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Aww, perfect pre-holiday post! yum.

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All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni