Monday, December 9, 2013

Day 9- Sugar Cookie Extravaganza

Welcome to Day 9 of Advent Countdown. Going up a little later in the day, and you'll soon see why.

I have been baking all day today- in preparation of this post. Here are the results:

I wanted to give all of you another recipe, but unlike my Parisian Hot Chocolate one, I wanted this one to be more specific to the time of year (and there are photos this time). So what did I come up with? Sugar Cookies. Simple, basic and delicious. I used a Real Simple recipe for them, which can be found here. If I changed anything it'll be noted below, but all credit goes to them.

First off: ingredients. Here's what you'll need to make your own delicious treats:

2 1/2 cups of flour (I used a gluten-free flour (as I am a coeliac))

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 salt (I left this out)

1 cup (225g) of unsalted butter (room temperature)

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. The first step is to mix together the flour and the baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer), cut the butter up into small squares. Add the sugar. Beat together until smooth. If you have an electric mixer, it's definitely the way to go. However, I don't own one, and so had to make do with a hand mixer- which works fine too.


   3. Add the vanilla and the egg, and beat until fluffy.

4. If you're using an electric mixer, put it on a low speed.  Slowly add in the flour mixture. If you're using a hand-held mixer like me, you might want to do this in three instalments like I did. Mix until just incorporated. 

 5. Form the dough into a disk, then wrap in cellophane and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I left mine in overnight.

6. Once your dough has refrigerated, you can remove it (preferably about 20 minutes or so before you actually plan on using it). Set the oven for 180 degrees celsius (350f). Lightly flour your clean work surface, and then roll the dough flat, until your desired thickness is reached. Remember, the cookies will rise. I like mine pretty thin, so that's how I rolled my dough. 

7. Now comes the fun part. Choose your cookie cutters and get stuck in. Once you've cut all you can out of your sheet of dough, gather it up into a ball and then roll it out again. You can do this multiple times before the dough runs out.  

8. Now you can bake them. Place them on baking sheets covered with parchment paper, then put them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Let them cool for 10 minutes or so. This is especially important for sugar cookies, as they are quite fragile just out of the oven. Once cooled, you are free to decorate as you wish. I have not decorated mine yet, as I'm still deciding on frosting type or even if I want any. 

The recipe I used said one batch was 18 cookies. As you can see, mine made a lot more. (This is two batches FYI, but each one made at least 30, if not more). They are crumbly, hard and delicious. 

If you try these out, please let me know. They make lovely gifts if you're on a budget, or if you want easy gifts for 'acquaintances'. I had a great time making them, and listened to an 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue Christmas Special' (if you know what this is, I love you)  during the process. Together, they've really put me in the mood for a fast approaching holiday.

I hope you all enjoyed today's (a little late) entry. See you all tomorrow (today) for Day 10 of Advent Countdown. Eeek! Double digits already!

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