How To Make The Best Sugar Cookies

How To Make The Best Sugar Cookies

How To Make The Best Sugar Cookies

– [Woman] It's cookie season, y'all.
That time of year where you're makin'
a whole lot of cookies.
Around the holiday season,
is there anything more iconic than sugar cookies?
We're gonna give you our Tasty tested sugar cookie recipe,
complete with everything you need
to have some darn good sugar cookies this holiday season.
Alright, so, let's get started.
So, we're gonna make our dough first.
We're gonna use room temperature softened butter.
Listen, that is not melted butter.
Melted butter is not the same.
In we go.
We want a really pale color,
so that's why we're using white sugar here,
and this is a secret ingredient.
I know it doesn't look like cream cheese,
but it is cream cheese.
And this is gonna give us a little bit of a savory flavor
and a little bit of tanginess as well.
What we're trying to do is cream the sugar
and the butter together.
So, if you're feeling a lot of granules
when you stick your finger in there, that's not good.
We're trying to kind of almost
dissolve the sugar in the butter.
So, we're gonna whip these together for about five minutes.
They're gonna be much paler in color when we're done.
It's gonna be much fluffier.
So, you'll see a visual change.
That's just whipping in air to that butter and sugar.
And then don't forget to scrape down your bowl
to make sure that you are incorporating
all of the ingredients equally.
So, now you can see we've got a really great
creamed butter and sugar.
We're good to go.
At this point, we're gonna add one egg, two egg yolks,
and our second secret ingredient is a combo of extracts.
I think vanilla's pretty common in sugar cookies,
but we are gonna add a little bit of almond extract as well.
A little bit goes a long way.
It's a pretty powerful flavor,
but it really adds something extra to these sugar cookies
and it's really delicious.
You're gonna taste a difference.
And to that, we just wanna make sure
that all that liquid is well incorporated
into the butter and sugar.
So, once we have the liquids well incorporated,
we're gonna add a little bit of kosher salt here.
Again, not to make it salty,
just to be a flavor enhancer and balance out that sweetness.
And so now we've got that in there,
we're gonna add our all-purpose flour,
and next goes in a little bit of baking powder.
And this ingredient
is our third little secret ingredient for this recipe,
cream of tartar.
Cream of tartar is actually what's leftover in the barrel
after wine making,
and it's basically just an acidic ingredient.
So, you're adding this
and this is gonna help with a few things.
It's gonna give us a really cool texture in the end
and it's also gonna prevent the cookies
from browning too much.
So, I'm gonna fold in just to get it started
because there's a lot of flour in here.
I don't wanna make a huge mess,
so I'm gonna fold to get it started,
finish incorporating it with the beaters
'cause it is a pretty dense mixture.
If there's a little bit of floury bits
that aren't fully incorporated, that's fine.
Again, to have a really flakey and snappy cookie,
you don't wanna overwork this mixture.
So, you're kind of just incorporating the flour.
You don't wanna go much more than that.
This dough is almost kinda similar to a pastry
where you wanna keep it cold all the time.
There's a lot of butter in here, so if it gets too greasy,
it's gonna be really really hard to work with
and you're not gonna have really clear, defined shapes.
Dough goes onto come clingfilm
and then you can use the clingfilm
to kinda pull the pieces together.
It's just kinda sticky,
so this is a really easy way to not make a huge mess.
So, this is gonna go into the fridge
and then we will roll it out in about two hours.
Here are a few things you might need
for rolling out your cookies.
You're gonna need a rolling pun or a wine bottle,
whatever you have at your house,
and then something to measure the thickness with.
A ruler or our fourth little trick of this video
which we'll get to later.
If you are baking a lot of cookies or you're an avid baker,
they do have these kinda cool rubber rolling pin thingys.
I don't know what you call 'em,
like rolling pin stoppers, guards maybe.
It really makes sure that you get that perfect quarter inch,
but you have to have the perfect size rolling pins
and you have to buy them, they're specialty.
So, we're gonna show you a hack.
So, the enemy of rolling out anything
is sticking to the surface that you're working on.
So, have a little bit of flour nearby.
As you remember, we wanna keep our dough super cold,
so I'm gonna work in batches.
I'm gonna put half of this back in the fridge
and only roll out half at a time.
Alright, so, this is a trick
that we learned in culinary school.
You really want an even quarter inch all throughout.
To get the most even thickness,
you wanna press down on your dough like this,
and that just kinda spreads it
before you wanna get into rolling.
Every so often, you wanna do a quarter turn,
and that's going to help make sure
that you have an even roll
as well as to ensure that it's not sticking to the surface.
This isn't like pie crust
where you really have to be careful
about the shape that you're making or whatever.
This is just kind of a free for all.
So, I'm to a good place.
I'm not really sure how thick mine is,
so how do I measure this?
You could use a ruler.
But you know what's so annoying about this ruler is like,
why does the zero start so far up the ruler?
Isn't that so annoying?
But how else can you measure?
Bottle caps!
I was looking all over the kitchen
for something else that's a quarter inch.
I like to lay these around the dough
while I'm rolling it out just to make sure that all sides
are that perfect quarter inch.
The other thing, too, is pour out that extra bench flour,
and that's what we're gonna use to flour our cutters
to make sure that the cutters
aren't sticking too much to the dough.
So, dip the cutter all the way in flour,
dip off the excess, and then go ahead.
And then just give it a little zhuzh, a little shimmy,
to make sure that you've totally made contact
with the surface on the bottom.
And if you have enough cutters,
what I like to do is go ahead
and put all the cutters down and leave them.
And that makes sure that nothing's pulling or tugging
and you get a really clean shape every time.
And now you can start pulling them out.
Sometimes the cookie comes with the cutter
and sometimes it doesn't.
So, I like to kind of move around, pull off the excess,
put it off to one side.
Save that dough 'cause you can use that again.
Just be careful that you're not pulling
or tugging it or anything
'cause you really want the shape to be really clean.
And then look at that! (squeals)
So, you can definitely reuse these scraps.
What you wanna do is get them back
into a cohesive dough ball
and then put 'em back in the fridge.
They're really warm after all that rolling
and working with them,
so get the cold one out of the fridge
and put that one back in there for another 20 minutes or so
so it can firm back up.
And there we go.
If you have some shapes
that are smaller than the other ones,
I would put those off to the side
so that if you need to pull them early,
you can so that they don't over bake.
Okay, put these guys in the fridge.
If you put them in the oven now,
they're gonna spread way too much
and they're not gonna have a clean shape.
They will come out super clean, super crisp.
As you can tell,
they're still very pale and they haven't spread that much.
Yay.
Go ahead and take them off
and let them cool completely on a drying rack.
Time to decorate.
So, we chose royal icing 'cause it sets a little bit harder.
If you're gonna be really crazy with decorating,
royal icing's definitely the way to go.
So, despite its royal name, royal icing's pretty simple.
So, all you really need is some sifted powdered sugar,
you might need a little bit of water, a bit of salt,
an extract if you'd like it, and egg whites.
The thing about this is that we will be consuming this,
so you really wanna make sure that you're buying
pasteurized egg whites so that they're safe
for everyone to enjoy.
Or you can use meringue powder,
which is an egg white substitute.
We might need water.
It kinda depends on what we're going for.
But first, we're gonna add salt
and a little bit of vanilla for flavor,
and we're gonna put this off to the side.
So, all the liquids we're gonna put
on one side of the powdered sugar,
and I'll show you why in a second.
Make sure to shake those egg whites ahead of time
and (mumbles) out.
Again, making sure that they're on one side of the bowl.
And so now, we're going to just work in
that one part of the bowl and just slowly incorporate
more of the powdered sugar as I go.
Now, that's gonna help make sure
that I have a really smooth icing.
If you're trying to incorporate
all of that powdered sugar at once,
it's just a little bit harder to work with and also,
you probably will get some lumps.
Royal icing's all about consistency,
so depending on how you want to decorate yours,
there's kind of two consistencies that you're going for.
There's a thicker consistency for more of lining things out
or borders of things
and then there's a flood,
which is gonna be just a thinned out version.
And that water's gonna come in handy
when we're looking for that flood consistency.
So, we're starting here with a thicker royal icing.
We're also gonna add coloring to this,
which will thin it out a little bit too.
So, err on the side of thicker when you're getting started.
So, we're gonna separate the icing
into a few different bowls.
If you're gonna be doing a lot of decorating
or using a lot of different colors,
it's probably worth it to double or even triple this recipe.
Go ahead and put in your gel food colorings
to get really really bright colors.
The thing that's cool about royal icing
is that is sets, right?
So, it'll set kind of hard,
but even in this time while we're trying
to get everything set up,
you can already see a little bit
this kind of skin that forms on top.
So, you do wanna work a little bit quickly with royal icing
or else cover it with clingfilm.
And then just to fix it,
just add a little bit of water and stir.
So, now we can do one of two things
with this flood consistency: flooding or dipping.
Just go ahead and put the cookie, dip it in the icing,
make sure it's really well coated, knock off any excess,
and then it's gonna kind of settle in the cookie
and be a really smooth and even shape.
And then to flood, what you gotta do,
you want a thicker frosting in a piping bag
and then go ahead and just trace the outside
with whatever color that you're doing.
And then you wanna let this harden for a little bit
before you go to the next step.
But once it is hard,
all you need to do is take that thinned out icing
and you can either spoon it in like I'm doing
or you can also put it in a piping bag and pipe it in
and then use the toothpick to spread it out evenly.
That bit that you piped in the beginning is dried,
so it kind of acts as a wall or a border
to ensure that all of that icing is staying inside.
If you're gonna put sprinkles on it,
go ahead and put the sprinkles on when it's wet.
But if you wanna decorate over that,
go ahead and let that set for a good 10, 15 minutes or so,
and then you can continue decorating on top of it.
So, it kinda depends what look you're going for.
And as you can see,
thee dots are kind of settling on top of it,
not really falling into that flood.
And if you wanna decorate anymore
or put any other toppings on top of it,
you're gonna have to layer more icing on
just to make sure that they stick.
There's something magical about this.
Baking cookies,
it's kind of what gets you ready for the holidays, right?
You know it's the holiday season
when it's time to bake sugar cookies
and it's time to decorate them,
and people really appreciate the time and effort
that goes into a home decorated cookie.
And does it look like a professional?
No, but that's not the point, you know?
The point is that you took the time, you did it,
you put in your love and care.
There's no better way to bond with your friends and family
than doing something tangible, DIY, and creative like this.
Go make some!
Send us your photos.
Have you ever seen a cuter cookie cutter in…
Oh my god, I can't say that three times fast.
Cuter cuttie cooker, cute…
Have you ever seen a cuter cookie cutter in your life?
I can't, it's so cute!
(holiday music)

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