I chose to do exactly the opposite. I needed to keep my hands busy; I needed a challenge. I turned to my recent issues of Martha Stewart Living for some ideas and settled on some sugar cookie hearts, with royal icing.
You’re probably thinking, “Sugar cookies are a challenge? As if.” It is when your icing skills have gotten a little rusty since your 2008 champion win at the Clinton County 4-H Fair. Oh, and you’re 26 days into a Whole30. It was a practice in willpower and a good excuse for piping practice.
I usually use a sour cream sugar cookie recipe, but wanted to try something new. This is the base recipe I used (from THE Martha Stewart):
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream butter and sugar in your stand-up mixer (or if you’re like me, currently KitchenAid-Less, in your food processor! It worked out decently, though it would have been even creamier had it been properly blended.) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture; beat(pulse) until combined. Divide dough in half and flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until firm.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees for your parchment lined baking sheets (this would be a good time to sub in those silicon mats, if you have them). Grab your first disk of dough and let it warm up on the counter for like 5 minutes. Roll out dough to a 1/8″ thickness. Martha recommends to do the rolling between two sheets of floured parchment, dusting with flour as needed, to help keep your dough from sticking to your rolling pin. I found the parchment paper to get in the way, so I dusted the dough directly with the flour.
Get to cutting. I used some lovely Wilton cookie cutters that were on pre-Valentine’s sale at Meijer. Feel free to take creative license here; who says you have to use hearts for V-day? Do dip your cookie cutters in flour every few cookies, it helps keep nice edges on your cookies! If things are getting a bit warm, put the dough back in the fridge for a few. Be sure to use every drop of dough, rerolling your scraps to that lovely 1/8″ and going at them with those floured up cookie cutters. (To state the obvious, you’re going to do steps 2 and 3 to the other disk while the first round of cookies are going through step 4!)
Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks before decorating.
Check out a future post for the decorating deets!
Do you have a favorite sugar cookie recipe? Be sure to share it with me!