Sometimes you want homemade sugar cookies but don’t really have a lot of time. You could go out and buy the pre-packaged sugar cookie dough rolls, and they’re fine. But if you really want to make sugar cookie dough yourself, just plan ahead a little.
A good sugar cookie dough will need to be refrigerated before you can use it. If you’re not planning for this, it can throw you for a loop. That’s why sugar cookies are often called refrigerator cookies. You make the dough and then roll it into logs and refrigerate it before you bake it. It’s not as hard or time-consuming as it sounds, but you do need to allow for at least a few hours of cooling in the fridge for the dough to set up properly.
Here is a recipe from Cooks.com that is easy to make and allows you to go do other things while you’re chilling the dough.
1 1/2 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
Cream sugar and butter. Mix in egg and flavorings. Stir dry ingredients together. Chill 2 - 3 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use half of the dough at a time. Roll out dough to 3/16-inch thickness. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake 7 - 8 minutes until golden brown.
1 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix sugar, salt, vanilla, and enough water for desired consistency.
Of course, you won’t want to ice the cookies until they are cooled. And you’ll want to form the dough into logs after you mix it. Place in plastic storage bags or roll in plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t pick up the scent or flavors of anything in your fridge. Never stick the whole bowl into the refrigerator uncovered. You need to divide the dough in half and take only half out of the refrigerator at a time. The other half should remain there chilling so it doesn’t start to get warm on the counter.
Roll out the first half of the dough on a floured countertop. This way the dough won’t stick to it. But don’t go crazy with the flour. Adding too much additional flour can make your dough tough and your cookies won’t taste right.
Cut out shapes from dough that is a good thickness. Too thin and they will burn. Too thick and they’ll be raw big cookies. You can guess-timate how thick to roll out the dough. If you can see the countertop under the dough it’s too thin and if the cookie cutter barely makes it through and won’t hold the design it’s too thick.
Use only dry cookie cutters. Wet ones will stick and ruin your dough. You can dip them in flour if they start to stick a little under normal conditions. Just tap off any extra flour before you press the cutters down into your cookies.
Stay nearby while your cookies are baking. They can burn quickly if you get distracted by a phone call or get caught up writing emails.
Follow these steps and you’ll have the best refrigerator sugar cookies ever.