Are you ready to make the best cookies for Santa?
It’s that time of the year again! The halls are decked, fairy lights are hung up, and the whole city takes on a festive air. And, bakers all over the country are rolling out mounds of dough to prepare a plate of freshly-baked cookies for Santa.
Sugar cookies are a dessert that has been around for centuries – whether you’re serving them along with tea or placing them along with a warm glass of milk for Santa, these gorgeous frosted creations never disappoint.
No matter the occasion, here at Gurgaon Bakers, we have the best time-tested, fail-proof tips to help you bake the best batch of buttery, crispy on the edges and soft along the centre, melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies.
A Quick Peep into the Journey of the Humble “Sugar Cookie” over the Years
Have you ever wondered which civilisation invented these gorgeous, culinary delights? Historians claim that both cakes and small biscuits (the cousins of modern-day cookies) first made their appearance in the Persian Empire around 7th century A.D.
It was only after the invasion of Spain, these Arabian techniques of baking made their way into parts of Northern Europe. The ancient Dutch word, “koekje” or “koeptje” was derived from the Persian language and means, “Small Cake.”
During the 14th century, wafers were a popular street-food in Paris and by the 17th century, cookies were an indispensable part of all cookbooks.
The Timelessness of Sugar Cookies
While several other types of cookies came and went as the centuries rolled by, sugar cookies have always remained popular. All thanks to their endless possibilities. You can frost, glaze or just eat it plain.
Now that you’ve gained a quick glimpse of the Evolution of Cookies, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Don your aprons, gather your baking tools and let’s get started.
A Beginner’s Guide to Making Sugar Cookies
If you’re wondering, whether you can pull off sugar cookies in your kitchen, the good news is that: it is way easier than it looks. All you need are a few basic baking tools (we’re pretty sure that you have these lying around in your kitchen) and a few simple ingredients from your pantry. That’s it, no fancy tools and exotic ingredients. It doesn’t get easier than this.
Gurgaon Bakers Recommended Tools for Cookie Making
❖ Cookie Cutters
We recommend that you have at least a couple of standard cookie-cutters on hand. Nowadays, you can find tons of cookie cutters in the market with unique shapes and in all sizes. You can opt for event-appropriate shapes like snowflakes, gingerbread men for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day, dinosaurs, Mickey and other cartoon figures for your kid’s birthday, eggs for Easter and so on. Or you can keep it simple by sticking with basic shapes like squares, circles, and rectangles.
❖ Rolling Pins
These are a great help when you want to spread the dough evenly, which in turn leads to uniform baking of your cookies. Rolling pins are available in a wide variety of materials like plastic, wood or even marble. Avoid plastic ones as they are often fragile and require much effort. Wood is a better option as it lets you get the job done quickly and also makes flour stick to its surface, making it easy for rolling.
Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe
This is a recipe that has been passed down for generations. The best part is that they are not only melt-in-your-mouth yummy but are also fuss-free and super-easy to make. Here, we share this time-tested recipe with you, right in time for the holiday season!
- ● 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- ● 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
- ● 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ● 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ● 1 egg
- ● 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- ● 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ● 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ● Coloured sugar for decorating
- ● Large mixing bowl
- ● Hand beater or a sturdy mixing spoon
- ● Cookie sheet (greased)
- ● Cookie cutter
- ● Rolling Pin
- ● Cooling Rack
- 1. Assemble all your ingredients on your workspace.
- 2. In the large mixing bowl, mix powdered sugar, butter, almond extract, vanilla essence and the egg on medium speed.
- 3. Next, add the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda until combined well.
- 4. Cover the dough and chill it in the refrigerator for at least two-three hours.
- 5. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Divide the chilled dough into two balls. Take one ball and place the other one in the fridge.
- 6. Roll the dough on a clean surface with the help of your rolling pin. It should be around 1/8th inch thick.
- 7. Now, use your cookie cutters and cut it into your preferred shapes.
- 8. Place the shapes on a greased cookie sheet at a distance of two-inches apart.
- 9. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the edges turn light brown. Remove and cool on the wire rack, until it cools completely. Store in air-tight containers.
- 10. Repeat the process till you have used all the dough.
That’s it, you’re done!
How to handle the Cookie Dough?
Sugar cookie dough is pretty fickle. However, if you know the right techniques, it’s quite easy to roll, cut and bake. Here are a few expert tips to help you out:
- ● Rule No. 1 – Always use high-quality unsalted butter. Avoid using margarine, as the low-fat and high-water content leads to poor results.
- ● Rule No. 2 – Always chill your dough before cutting the shapes. This helps the dough hold the shape better.
Tips for the Perfect Batch of Sugar Cookies:
- 1. Ensure that all the cookies in a single batch are of the same size. This helps in uniform baking.
- 2. When it comes to using sugars, make sure that you follow what the specific recipe calls for. Different sugars lead to different textures.
- 3. Don’t over mix the dough. Remember you aren’t making a frosting that has to be whipped thoroughly. Over mixing leads to dry cookies.
- 4. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. This makes it easier to roll. Additionally, place the cut cookies in the fridge before popping into the oven, to avoid over-spreading.
- 5. Work on a well-floured surface. Whether you’re rolling your dough directly on the counter-top or on top of a parchment paper, make sure that it’s well-floured. This prevents your dough from sticking to the working area.
- 6. Before you pop the cut cookies into the oven, dust off the excess flour gently with the help of pastry brush.
- 7. Always use fresh ingredients. As an occasional home baker, chances are that your baking powder has expired. Here’s how to find if it’s fresh.
- 8. Under bake your cookies by a minute or two. This is because, even after the cookies are pulled out of the oven, they continue to bake due to the residual heat from the sheet. You can always pop it back if it’s undercooked, but you can’t save an overdone cookie.
- 9.Roll out the dough in small batches. Don’t pull out the whole dough from the fridge as it can soften before you cut the shape.
- 10. Prepare your dough ahead and freeze. And get the actual baking and frosting done on another day, to save you trouble.
We hope this guide will help you bake the PERFECT sugar cookies this holiday season and here’s wishing “Happy Holidays” from the entire team at Gurgaon Bakers. No time to bake this festive season? Worry not, just give us a call @ 0124-4379-633 or Whatsapp us @ +91-989-9988-185 to get your holiday cakes, cookies, and other goodies delivered right at your doorstep in Gurgaon.
Enjoy the Festive Season with Yummy Cakes & Spread the Holiday Cheer!