There are two sprinkling techniques when it comes to decorating sugar cookies – some stay within the confines of the cookie, and others coat the entire sheet pan. Let’s just say that I tend to coat the entire sheet pan, kitchen counter and floor…
After trying a handful of sugar cookie recipes, I realized that I was looking for a cookie that could stand on its’ own without the addition of icing. The recipe shared below yields a buttery cookie, which can be cooked to achieve a tender or crisp bite.
Williams-Sonoma and King Arthur Flour both offer a wide selection of high quality sanding sugars.
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Combine the sugar, butter, egg yolk, salt and vanilla. Beat these ingredients until smooth.
Add the flour all at once and mix until just smooth. (If the mixture appears dry, add ¼ tsp water).
Lightly pack the dough into a ball and divide in half. Shape each half into a flattened disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough disks for 2 hours, or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚ conventional.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften at room temperature for 20 minutes. The dough can be rolled out into a 1/8 - 3/16” slab. (The dough can be rerolled as many times as needed.)
Use cookie cutters and arrange the cutouts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roughly 1-inch apart.
Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. These can be cooled directly on the baking sheet or a rack.
Recipe from King Arthur Flour.