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Roll your dough out before refrigeration
It may seem backwards to roll out your dough before refrigeration, but it actually makes the most sense!
It’s significantly easier to roll out the dough right after you mix it because it’s soft and pliable. It’s kind of like trying to flatten a rock if you wait until after refrigeration.
Also, a lot of recipes call for you to refrigerate the dough for several hours before baking, but if you roll out the dough first you don’t have to do that because it takes a fraction of a time to chill a sheet of cookie dough than it does to chill a block of dough.
Roll dough between two sheets parchment paper
In my opinion, the worst thing you can do to sugar cookies is to over flour them. This happens when people put flour the baking surface before rolling out the cookie dough. They do this, of course, so it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.
But you can avoid using extra flour by rolling out your dough between two sheets of wax or parchment paper.
I guess this goes without saying if you’ve already read the previous steps, but you must refrigerate your dough after rolling it flat. If the dough is warm, the cookies will spread and will look like blobs. No one wants that.
A lot of recipes will recommend that you chill the dough for several hours, but I don’t think that’s necessary. In my opinion, 30 minutes to 1 hour is plenty of time. The dough should be cold enough that when you use a cookie cutter, the shape will lift off of the rest of the dough.
Your cookie dough should feel cold when you put it in the oven. This will prevent spread. In between batches, stick the dough back in the refrigerator.
Holiday Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
For the cookies
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks Challenge butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
For the frosting
- 1 stick Challenge butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
For the cookies
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter for one minute; ad the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down sides of bowl as needed and add egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat until combined.
- Add dry mixture to bowl and beat on low until just combined.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on your counter top, place dough on paper, and then put another piece of parchment paper on top of dough.
- Use a rolling pin to gently roll out the dough between the two sheets of parchment paper.
- Once dough is about 1/3-inch thickness stick it in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
- After cookie dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use cookie cutter to cut out shapes and transfer to baking sheet.
- Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges of cookies just barely turn golden.
- Repeat with remaining dough; cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting
- Beat butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream to bowl; increase mixer to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes.
- Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more heavy whipping cream if frosting is too thick.
- Frost cooled sugar cookies.