Twelve Days of Baking: Vanilla Scented Sugar Cookies

December 8, 2011

Day 12: Vanilla Scented Sugar Cookies

I always save making the fussiest cookies for last; the ones that are time consuming to make but would not be Christmas without them. Sugar cookie cut outs are the last of the cookies on our 12 Baking Days of Cookies. This vanilla scented sugar cookie dough is easy to work with once chilled. And you can double the recipe. This recipe will make at least 3 dozen; all depends on how thin you roll the dough and the size cutters you use. I frost the cookies and let the frosting “dry” well before freezing them in layers in plastic containers.

I hope you have enjoyed the selection of cookies for the holidays. I guess now I can put my feet up!

Vanilla Scented Sugar Cookies

Makes 3 dozen

½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¾ cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Cream the butter and sugar well in a mixer until it is light colored. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.

In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Slowly blend into the butter mixture. Beat on high for 1 minute.

Scrape the dough onto a sheet of wax paper. Wrap in the paper and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

When ready to use, divide the dough into quarters and roll one quarter at a time between two sheets of floured wax paper or parchment paper.

Remove the top sheet of paper and use your favorite cutters to cut out holiday shapes. Place the cut outs on parchment lined baking sheets. Or lightly butter baking sheets.

Space the cookies an inch apart and bake them for about 12 -15 minutes, switching the sheets as they bake; do not let then brown. They should remain pale but cooked. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Frost the cookies with your favorite icing; allow to dry thoroughly.

Freeze in layers between sheets of wax paper in plastic containers.

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