Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies are fun to make with family and kids for Christmas although they do take an elaborate process.This is my first time making them,It does take some practice to master the decoration but I think I did a pretty decent job at it,I have also learnt some things that I can improve the next time I make them.These are little crunchy on the outside and softer inside with a nice and warm vanilla flavoring

Preparation time:45 minutes +time for the dough to set in the fridge
Serves:Around 36 cookies

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter(room temperature)
pinch of salt
1 cup white sugar
1 egg (at room temperature)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

Procedure:
1.Take the butter and sugar and mix well until fluffy(about 2-3 minutes).

2.Sift Flour,salt and baking soda and keep aside.

3.Add egg and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and mix well until combined.

4.Add flour in 3 additions while gently mixing,until all the flour is incorporated.

5.Place in surround wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours until firm.Once firm take the dough out and start rolling it into 1/4 inch thick sheet.Obtain even thickness throughout the dough.

6.Using cookie cutters,cut your favorite shapes and place them on the cookie sheets and place the sheets back in the refrigerator for about an hour till firm.

7.Preheat oven to 375 F and once the oven is ready directly place the cookies sheets from the refrigerator to the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes until a very light edges are obtained.Remove from oven immediately and let cool completely for 15 minutes before touching the cookies.

8.Decorate with your favorite icing colors and sprinkles.I like to use royal icing.Refer to the royal icing recipe for how to decorate your cookies.

Tips:
Oven temperatures vary,my oven took only 8 minutes to  bake the cookie,I like my cookies soft,if you want your cookies a bit harder bake an extra minute.Do not overcook your bottom of the cookie will be burnt.
The dough has to be chilled in the refrigerator before baking for the cookie shapes to stay intact.
You can eat the cookies as is or ice them.
For rolling the dough out people add flour to prevent from sticking but it alters the texture of the cookie,I like to place the dough between sheets of parchment paper to roll it out without sticking.
Also for even thickness you can place 4 rulers in a square pattern and roll it in between those,so your rolling pin will be resting on the left and right side rulers and wont let you roll too thin in any part.
You will also get ready made cookie icing for decoration,I find it kids will find these squeeze bottles easier to use than icing bags we prepare at home,they will love decorating.
If you do not like to use egg whites you can use just sugar and milk,it takes very little milk and add sugar to it to get the same piping consistency,this however is much sweeter compared to royal icing.

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