Fool Proof Rolled Sugar Cookie

These are the best, simplest rolled sugar cookies I have ever made. The dough comes together quickly, rolls out like a red carpet, and can be reworked and refrigerated multiple times. Perfect for the holidays, or any days.

Wish you had an awesome cookie cutter for any occasion? Check out this post to learn how to make your own!

Fool Proof Rolled Sugar Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, soft
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Preparation:

1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. (Need some clarifications about this step? Go here > Creaming Method for a tutorial.)

3.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl often.

4. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes before adding half of the dry ingredients.  Beat on high for 30 seconds, scrape the sides of the bowl, and beat on high for another 30 seconds. Add the rest of the flour and repeat until dough is consistent.

5. To prepare dough for cookie cutters, tightly wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, then roll out on well floured surface.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 6-8 minutes (or longer, depending on the thickness/size). Cool completely before icing.

How to Make a Lattice Top Pie Crust

Alright folks, let’s lattice some pastry! If your dough becomes unworkable (breaks, becomes oily, sticky) during this process, simply refrigerate it for at least fifteen minutes. Chilled dough is best/easiest to work with.

1. Roll out half of the pie dough to make the bottom half of pie crust. Trim excess and use your fingers to crimp edges of crust around the edge of the pan.

2. Next roll out the rest of the dough to desired thickness and cut into strips. The thickness and number of each strip that you cut really depends on what you’re going for with your pie. Thicker strips will allow less filling to show through the top in your final product and using more strips will tighten the lattice, producing the same effect. I cut ten, half-inch strips.

3. Lay about five strips of dough (or however many you think looks best) vertically pie.

4. Carefully pull alternating strips to the top of the pie and let them hang out there. Lay down first strip of horizontal dough at the top corner of your pie. Unfold every other vertical strip back to its original position. Next, repeat with the rest of the dough, making sure to ALTERNATE along your way. And voila!

5. To finish the edges, you could simply trim the edges of the strips to fit inside the pie. For this strawberry rhubarb pie I wanted a heartier lattice so I anchored it to the base crust with a few of the extra strips placed around the circumference, which I pressed together and to the sides of the pan with a heavy finger.

Also, remember to foil those delicate edges during the first twenty minutes of baking! No sense in making charcoal of the beautiful lattice crust you’ve created.

Speedy Quiche

With this from-scratch recipe, there’s no reason not to be making quiche on the regular. Only about an hour of your time and you’ve got the most versatile savory custard in the business. I’ve included a basic quiche filling recipe that, interestingly, calls for mayonnaise. And as for what you should add in to spice up your quiche, I would recommend looking up one that favors your tastes (epicurious is a good place to start) or just working with with any produce or breakfast meats that you’re looking to use up in your refrigerator.

Basic Quiche Filling

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I know its gross to some, but the oil in mayonnaise helps create a light, fluffy texture to the eggs)
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1 recipe Fool Proof Savory Pie Crust 

 

Filling preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, half and half, mayonnaise and flour. Salt and pepper according to taste.

2. Sautee any vegetables for the filling in a saucepan with oil and cook any meat that you wish to add fully before filling the bottom of the quiche crust. I used vegetarian sausage, green and red bell pepper and onion.

And then I topped it with some cubed swiss cheese.

3. Pour filling into quiche crust. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour or until the center is no longer liquid. Let quiche cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Now, relax & enjoy!

So quick, so delicious.

I Heart Cookies

As we all (both haters and not) know, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. So even if you think the holiday is lame sauce or plan to be a sourpuss all day in protest, you might still want to make some cookies. And you might want to decorate them with heart, if only to be ironic. Or, you might want to say “I love you” with a sugar cookie. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.

First, whip up a batch of these simple sugar cookies, which might look familiar.  While they cool, gather a whisk or set up an electric mixer with the whipping attachment to make the icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbs of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbs light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or syrup
  • A few tablespoons of water (amount varies depending on the thickness you want)
  • Red food coloring

Preparation:

1. Whisk powdered sugar, butter, corn syrup and vanilla extract to combine. Slowly add water until the mixture comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to free any clinging powdered sugar. Continue whipping for a few minutes. You want to achieve a thick consistency that will hold shape after being piped onto a sheet tray. A good way to tell if your icing is thick enough is to let it sit for ten minutes and then press your finger lightly on the top. If a shell has started to form, it is the right consistency. If it sticks to your finger, add some powdered sugar and blend until smooth.

And with this icing, here’s how you make the “I Heart Cookies”.

1. Reserve half of the icing that you have made in a separate bowl and use it to ice the cookies first.

2. Add red food coloring, drop by drop, until you reach color that you like. I stopped once and reserved a cup or so of the pink color and then continued to add dye to make a darker red.

3. Locate a pastry bag, or a ziplock bag, or fold some wax paper (like this) to make one. I have a metal tip attachment, but if you don’t your hearts will be just as lovely. To fill, insert the tip of the bag into a cup and pull the ends down around the sides.

Use the side of the cup as resistance to scrape some of the icing off of your spatula and into the bag. Once you have a good squeezable amount in the bag, slowly squeeze and twist the icing towards the tip and cut it.

4. Practice on a sheet of parchment paper (or foil) by squeezing a few lines and, eventually, work your way up to a heart shape. I started with an outline that I then filled in with a few mimicking strokes. You want the heart to be thick and to hold its shape. If the icing does not, you will need to go back to the beginning and add more powdered sugar. And if you use all of the icing and end up with a mess, just scrape it back off the parchment and try again. There are many different techniques, so just have fun with it and figure out what works best for you.

5. Put the icing hearts into the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once they are frozen into shape, use a thin spatula to scrape them from the parchment and place them in the center of each cookie.

“Just Like Cheez-It®” Crackers

Snack guilt-free on these flaky, cheesy crackers – made with love and preservative free!

“Just Like Cheez-It®” Crackers

  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz of sharp cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 Tbs cold water
  • itty bitty cookie cutter or knife to section dough

Preparation:

1. Put flour, butter, cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until all the ingredients are combined.

2. Add water 1 Tbs at a time, and mix until the dough forms a ball in the bowl of the processor.

3. Press dough into a disk shape (to make rolling it out later a little easier), wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gently roll until desired thickness is reached. Use a cookie cutter (mine’s a bat!) to press shapes into the dough, or use a knife to cut the dough into cracker sized squares.

5. Carefully place the cut dough on a parchment lined baking pan making sure they are at least a half inch apart. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes on a center rack until they just begin to brown. Let the crackers cool on a wire rack and taste a few. At this point they should still be slightly soft in the middle, and if that’s your thing, you’re done. If you prefer a flakier, crispier cracker, keep on reading.

6. Set oven to 250 degrees. Toss cooled crackers on a baking sheet (they can touch, overlap at this point) and bake for 15 – 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent any burning edges. Once the crackers reach the right level of crispness, pull them from the oven and enjoy!

Flaky layers!

Cheesy Bats!

Packaged bats!

Friends love ’em!

I’m Lazy Shortbread Cookies

Somewhere between an awkward craigslist roommate situation, securing a new job (baking! full time! with my own recipes!), and trying to move to an area where the neighborhood HEB takes itself seriously, I’ve failed to post. I’ve come back, however, to this blog, eager to settle in and share some things I’ve been learning…

A few week ago, when my boss asked what I was prepared to make as a wintertime themed baked good, I was still wearing shorts and arriving to work sweating. And I realized that it was almost December, that I really didn’t feel like adding another item to my production, and, most importantly, that I had gotten a little lazy.

You see, when I first started my job I would have licked the floors if they had asked me to. I was so excited to be offered the opportunity to bake all day long for money, I felt like I owed them something. The first few months I worked at the cafe I checked out library books, read up online at other baking blogs, and tried new recipes consistently at home and now I found myself wanting to tell my boss to stuff it at the mention of more work that I had to do.

And so, thinking mainly of what I could make with very little time and fuss, I suggested a shortbread cookie. Only three ingredients, shortbread is quick, easy and, consequently, insanely adaptable for different pars.

2 cups butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 4.5 cups flour

Start with the butter which should be soft (if not, throw your butter into the mixer for a few minutes, let it slowly warm up) and add the sugar. Let the butter and the sugar mix for a few minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. Repeat this as many times as you need to until the chunks of butter disappear and it no longer resembles the picture to the left.

Add the flour all at a time and eventually

from this

you get this:

Brilliant. And the dough is extremely forgiving, easy to roll out and holds its form during baking . Bonussss.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface. I am going to try a rectangle shape to each cookie (about 3/4 inch thickness) so I rolled and cut my dough accordingly. Cookie cutters should also work nicely with this dough.

I used a toothpick to make three decorative holes in the dough before baking  (to add an individual touch without being too elaborate).

And baked them at 400 degrees for 12 minutes and yummmm.

They’re buttery and slightly sweet all on their own, but I’m thinking next time a little spice might do them good – cinnamon, rosemary, or (duh) chocolate.