Have you ever watched your sim level up their baking skill and wished it was that easy in real life? In this new series I want to prove to you it can be that easy. With a little practice you too can level up your baking skill and impress your friends.
Today we are going to start from the beginning with a level 1 recipe, one of my absolutely favorite things to make, Sugar Cookies! This recipe is very kind to beginners and great for decorating. I’ll start with the recipe for the more advanced bakers, but for those who want a quick and easy option, you can also buy homemade cookies from local bakers or bakeries. Then, I’ll go into more details for everyone else, including those who prefer to make them from scratch.
Tip: This recipe works best if you use an electric mixer. I use the flat beater attachment with my stand mixer. If you use a whisk attachment or a hand mixer you may have to kneed the dough a bit by hand at the end.
1. Gather your ingredients. Your butter needs to be at around room temperature. The best way to do this is to set it out for a few hours or overnight. You can cheat and heat it for a few seconds in the microwave but be careful not to melt your butter.
2. Combine 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened butter and 1 cup of granulated sugar. Mix until smooth.
3. Add 1 egg and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. (For extra flavor you can add 1/2 tsp of almond extract too.) Mix.
4. Next, in a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt. (If you used salted butter omit the 1/2 tsp of salt.)
Tip: The secret to baking is using exact measurements. When measuring flour, use the flat side of a knife to level the top of your measuring cup and knock off the excess.
5. Slowly add the dry mixture to your wet ingredients and mix until the dough starts to form into a ball. The dough should no longer stick to the sides of the bowl or crumble apart. If it is still doing either try mixing it longer or mix it with your hands like rolling a ball of play dough.
6. Start preheating the oven to 350°F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent sticking and for easier clean up.
7. Roll up your dough to 1/4″ thick and cut out the desired shapes. If there are light spots in the dough, they might be chunks of butter. Roll that section back into a dough ball. The heat from your hands should help melt the butter and distribute it more evenly. Use a spatula to carefully transfer cookies onto the baking sheet.
Tip: You can sprinkle flour on the surface to prevent the dough from sticking as you cut out shapes. I use a piece of parchment paper under my dough to make clean up easier. I also like to use a piece of plastic wrap on top of my dough as I roll it out to prevent the dough from sticking to my rolling pin.
8. Bake for 6-8 minutes. You’ll know they are done when you poke the top of the cookie with your finger and it rises up fairly quickly. (The baking sheet will be very hot but you can touch the top of the cookie with your bare hand) If you like your cookies on the crunchier side or are baking a large shape, leave them in until you see the bottom edge of the cookie start to turn a darker golden color.
9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes. If you have cooling racks you’ll still want to wait a bit before transferring them. When the cookies are hot they are easy to break. They harden a bit more as they cool, making them easier to move and decorate.
10. Finally, Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know how your cookies turn out and what recipe you’d love to see me cover next. And if you’d like to learn more on decorating sugar cookies, stay tuned for an upcoming post on decorating spooky cookies. They make the perfect treat to celebrate Halloween!