• decorating-slider.jpg?fit=500%2C500
    Kaya Maliglig decorates homemade sugar cookies for the staff of The Mainstream. Alicia Graves / The Mainstream
  • dough.jpg?fit=500%2C500
    Adding the flour in in small amounts will make the mixing process easier if using a whisk instead of a mixer. Kaya Maliglig / The Mainstream
  • cookies.jpg?fit=500%2C500
    Decorating cookies is as simple or difficult as you make it. Alicia Graves / The Mainstream
  • cookie-closeup.jpg?fit=500%2C500
    Use sprinkles and icing to make your cookies come to life. Alicia Graves / The Mainstream
  • matt-eating-cookies.jpg?fit=500%2C500
    Mathew Guido enjoys a homemade sugar cookie at The Mainstream office. Alicia Graves / The Mainstream

Holiday Baking: Sugar Cookies

in Health by

Imagine – the sweet scent of pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar drifting throughout the house as temperatures drop outside from the approaching winter. Fireplaces are lit and thermostats are turned on to keep warm. Each day passing is a day closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas, and soon everyone will be buzzing in preparation.

While wrapping presents and decorating the Christmas tree are often straightforward, baking isn’t always as simple. The average baker may not be able to prepare all the treats that come with the holidays. Fortunately, countless easy recipes for many different shapes and flavors of cookies exist.

A simple recipe for sugar cookies is suitable for any occasion and these cookies are easy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  1. Use a mixer or whisk to combine all ingredients

Soften 2 sticks of unsalted butter and mix into a large bowl with 1 cup of sugar until fluffy. Proceed by adding in 3 eggs (one at a time), 1 ½ vanilla extract and ½ tsp. of salt. Add 3 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour gradually until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

  2. Chill dough overnight or at least 2 hours.

Separate the dough into 4 equal sections and then wrap each section in plastic wrap. These sections should be approximately a ½ inch thick in depth. Place sections into the refrigerator and chill.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place dough over a floured surface and begin to roll the dough out evenly to approximately 1/3 inch thick. Use cookie-cutters to cut out the shapes desired for the season. Transfer cut out dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for 10 minutes.

4. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden

After baking, let cookies cool before decorating.

5. Decorate!

This step can be extremely simple or creative depending on the bakers and their desires. Some ideas to consider would include turkey, snowmen or ornament shaped cookie-cutters.

Baking sweets for everyone does not have to be stressful. The holidays are a time of enjoyment with loved ones, but also a time to enjoy seasonal meals and treats.