The holidays would not be complete without sugar cookies, so day 11 is just that. I went the simple route and decorated with colored sugar but iced ones are wonderful as well. And the decorating is so much fun for the whole family.
Pop out a few cookie cutters, roll out some dough, put on some holiday music and have some laughs. The best sugar cookies are mixed with plenty of laughter and love. I made this batch of cookies into weenie dogs for my sister and my four-legged niece, a cute little long-haired weenie dog.
I like sugar cookies for the artistic quality of decorating them but have to admit they are not my favorite cookie. I am working on a recipe to change that. This one came out quite tasty and I would make it again but it is not THE ONE, yet, although it is very yummy and a good sugar cookie. It just lacked a little something for me and I will let you know when I figure out what that something is.
They are soft and crunchy with plenty of flavor and the dough is very easy to work with. I was able to easily re-roll it with no issues and continue using all the dough until the end for cookies, so no waste. Some doughs get much to dry if they are rolled too many times but I did this one three times and it still worked beautifully.
3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter, room temp.
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
3 Tbsp. orange juice
Sift together the dry ingredients, flour, salt and baking powder, in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, almond extract and the orange juice.
Slowly incorporate the dry mix into the butter/sugar mixture.
Roll the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until chilled through. You can speed up the process by placing the dough in the freezer.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface and cut out into desired shapes. Decorate the cookies if using sprinkles, sugar or other toppings that go into the oven.
Gently place the shapes on the prepared sheets and bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Edges of cookies will be starting to brown.
Remove from oven, cool on wire racks and decorate cooled cookies, if using icing.