Sugar cookies have never been my thing. I'm much more partial to dark chocolate chip oatmeal or peanut butter or well, really any other cookies aside from the basic Sugar cookie. I rarely make them, but Christmastime is the exception - especially when I'm invited to the lovely home of my dear friend Pam for her annual cookie decorating party. So I turned to my stack of cookbooks, then to online bloggers for tips on making the best sugar cookies.
I decided that if I was going to make a sugar cookie, then it would be a dang good one. Really delicious. With almond notes and bright lemon zest. One that sort of melts in your mouth and doesn't just taste like sugary play dough.
/ LEMON ALMOND SUGAR COOKIES /
Yields 2 - 4 Dozen, depending on size
1.5 Cups Unsalted Butter, softened
1.5 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
Zest from 3 Small Lemons
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (After extensive research on the subject, I went with 400 degrees as most testers reported great results and quick cooking times.)
Cream the sugars and butter together until thoroughly mixed and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add extracts and zest, mix well.
Add two cups of flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add remaining flour on cup at a time.
At this point you have two options: wrap dough in plastic wrap and freeze for later, or roll out on a floured surface. I wrapped up half of the dough, and found that I was still able to make 2.5 dozen cookies.
Roll out on floured surface, approximately 1/4 thick, or thinner if you prefer. Cut with cookie cutters into desired shapes - our favorites were little sheep, hearts, scallop-edged rectangles, angels, doves, and alphabet letters.
Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 7 minutes. The cookies will not have brown edges or be crispy - I prefer a lighter, softer cookie. But if you like crispy leave in for 8-9 minutes.