Completely swamped today so you'll have to forgive me if the post seems a little hurried.
I'm wrapping up various non-blogging related projects as well as handling all the baking for a baby shower. Ack!
You see, my sister has a way of volunteering to provide desserts for various social events. Of course, you know who really ends up doing the desserts?
Today, I'm elbow deep in fondant for a baby shower cake and I've only just begun tackling my sister's wishlist. Hopefully she'll come visit and help me clean up (HINT).
So earlier this week, I was turning out batch after batch of sugar cookie dough. Burning through pounds of butter. It was a good time to experiment, as the test batches of dough were used to produced cookies for Mr. Humble's lab and this baby shower.
In the process of adjusting, toying and tweaking sugar cookie dough, I settled on a cookie recipe that I like more than Martha's. It isn't quite as dense, it has a nice texture and flavor (even without zest, spices and bakery emulsions), and retains the shape of the cutout well. So today I'm posting the recipe, along with the cute little onesie cookies I made for this baby shower.
I should note this dough is relatively high in butter and as such it needs to be handled while chilled. If that is not something you like to fuss with, or you happen to live on the surface of the sun, I recommend you skip this recipe.
Ms. Humble's Sugar Cookie Cut Outs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cups corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature*
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream
* I often call for "room temperature butter" on this blog and even though this is a standard baking term, I think I should clarify a bit, given the difference between room temperature in Alaska and Mexico. The butter just needs to lose it's chill. It should feel like a banana if you poke it, it will be firm but have some give.
The idea is that the butter has the right texture to whip, incorporating air into the butter fat. This is called creaming, and the air you beat in lightens the cookie's final texture. If the butter is too cold it will be too hard to cream and will be brutal on your beaters or stand mixer's motor. Too warm and the butter will be too soft to contain the tiny air bubbles you're attempting to beat in. Properly creamed butter takes several minutes with a stand mixer or hand beaters, it will gain some volume from the added air and will resemble pale, fluffy straw-colored frosting when you're finished.
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium high speed for 4-5 minutes with the paddle attachment until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time on low speed and then add the cream and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture, one third at a time. Mixing each addition on low speed until moistened.
The resulting dough will be similar to drop cookie dough but will firm up in the refrigerator. Divide the soft dough into two portions and wrap in plastic cling wrap. Flatten the dough into 1" thick disks and place into the coldest part of your refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. If it isn't firm after four hours and you're itching to use it, toss it into the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
Once firm, pre-heat your oven to 350°F and line two or three sheet pans with parchment or silicone baking mats.
Grab a single disk of the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface (if it's too firm to roll let it stand for 5-10 minutes and try again). Work quickly as the cookies are easiest to transfer to your pans while the dough is still cool and firm. If the dough gets soft while re-combining scraps and re-rolling, wrap the dough in plastic and chill. Pull out the second disk of dough and begin working with that one.
Arrange your cookies on your baking sheet and transfer to the freezer. Chill the cookies on the sheet for 10 minutes before baking. If you skip this step, the cookies will spread more during baking, distorting their shape and they will not have the ideal texture.
Once cold, pop the cookies straight into the oven and bake for roughly 15 minutes, until the bottom edges of the cookies take on a golden hue.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. The cookies will keep for 10 days in an air tight container.
If you're interested in doing similar onesie cookies, I used the following large-onesie cutter from a rather cute fondant set (link)
For tips on icing cookies see my royal icing 101.
|You owe me, Sis.|