January 01, 2014

happy new year! & sugar cookies

I made these sugar cookies for Christmas and then we had an ice-storm which killed our power for a couple of days.   

the ice storm's after-effects

So I'm blogging about them now.  But truth be told, these cookies are great for any occasion, not just the holidays.  You can also freeze them (all will be explained below) and then slice and bake them when you have guests drop by and you're in a pinch.

Also, it's January 1st, so I'd like to wish you a very happy new year!  Thanks for dropping by! :)

one log rolled
the dough of my poppy seed variation, ready to be rolled out
all wrapped up and ready to be refrigerated
cutting up the log into cookies

sugar cookies! all baked up and ready to be enjoyed!

and my fun poppy seed and cardamom variation (my favourite)

Here's the recipe!

Sugar Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
Makes about 5 dozen

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
Optional ingredients for a fun variation:
2 tbsp poppy seeds 
1 tbsp ground cardamom 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the egg and vanilla, and beat to combine.  Add the flour and salt, mix on low speed until combined.

If  you are choosing to go with the fun variation, add the poppy seeds and cardamom now and mix on low speed until combined.

Turn out the sought onto a clear work surface.  Divide in half and roll each piece into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Wrap in parchment paper, making sure to cover the ends of the roll completely.  Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.  If you are option to freeze them and bake them later, this is where you can also wrap the parchment-wrapped logs in plastic wrap, and then place them in the freezer (they can be kept in there for up to 3 weeks).

Preheat the over to 350F.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper (or a silicone mat).  Let dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to slice, about 15 minutes.  Roll dough logs in the sugar, coating them evenly, and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.  Place about 1 inch apart on prepared sheets.  Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


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