Time consuming: less so than other cut out cookies because the dough does not need to chill.
I have a go to sugar cookie recipe. It's awesome. The cookies cut out and bake up beautifully. But they are a hard cookie. And husband does not like hard cookies. He likes soft cookies, so this holiday season I scoured the internet for a softer cut out sugar cookie.
I found a great recipe but it called for a lot of baking powder. Baking powder = spreading cookies. You might get something that looks like this:
|Picture from Pinterest. Source.|
2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons extract (I used homemade vanilla)
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (you can reduce this or leave it out if your cookies have more complicated shapes)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and flavoring (mixing the egg now will ensure you don't over beat later). Add to the butter/sugar and mix until just combined.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter/egg/etc in increments. Stirring in between until the flour is moistened. (Again we are trying to avoid over-beating the dough). Once all the flour has been added, let the dough rest for a few minutes (I use this time to do a few dishes).
5. Place a sheet of parchment out on your table, plop the dough onto it, flour the top, and roll the dough out to about 1/4" thick. Cut out shapes and transfer to prepared baking pan.
6. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the bottoms just start to turn golden (the tops should not brown at all).
7. Let cool for a few minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.
8. After the cookies have cooled, decorate however you wish.
I usually wait a day or so to decorate. And I like to use royal icing, which I will post about very soon.
These cookies also freeze very well as long as they're stored in a airtight container. I baked my cookies one weekend, then froze them for a week before I pulled them out to ice them.
Recipe adapted from The Adventures of Sweet Sugar Belle.