Now that we have the royal icing out of the way in my last post, it’s time to give you what I know about baking the perfect sugar cookies! But here’s the thing - I don’t share my recipe... Why? Because I am still running a business and although I share a lot, it’s the one thing I choose to keep sacred. So how am I going to teach you about making cookies without a recipe you ask? Well, i’m a firm believer that it’s not just the recipe but HOW you prep and bake your dough - and I will link some popular recipes at the end for you to try out!
All dough recipes follow the same song and dance. You cream your butter and sugar first, and then add in the wet ingredients; eggs and flavouring. The flavour is really where you set yourself apart and there are SO many options. If your just a Basic Betty, use that vanilla you’ve got in the cupboard and play around later once you’ve got the rest down. Next, your going to combine this mixture with your flour, baking powder and salt. THIS part in important in regards to how much flour you are using. If you’re dough is turning out sticky, you need to up the amount of flour you are using. And if it’s coming out dry, back it up. You want your final texture to be like that of play doh and for your dough to pull from the side of mixing bowl leaving it clean.
Now some people swear buy cooling their dough and I did for a long time too. Then one day I thought, hmmm what will actually happen if I don’t? And guess what - it made ZERO difference and I cringe when I think back to all the time I spent refrigerating dough. So all I’m going to say is try it and see, life’s short! Ain't nobody got time for that!
I LOVE the Joseph Joseph Rolling Pin for rolling out my dough. It has ends that screw off and you can use one of the 4 sets of discs that it comes with for rolling your dough to an even width. I roll the dough on parchment paper instead of flour so that it doesn’t dry out. You can also roll multiple times this way without it effecting how your cookies bake. I bake the cookies on a silicone baking liner as well and this part is also SUPER important. When you bake straight on the baking sheet, it gets greasy which leads to spreading. Baking on a liner (or parchment paper and replacing every time you bake a new batch) is going to reduce your spreading. These factors combined with using the levelling rolling pin is going to give you that perfectly shaped cookie for decorating!
I like to bake my cookies at a lower temperature of 390 degrees for about 8-12 minutes depending on the size (my recipe calls for 425 degrees). This is going to save your cookies from baking faster and potentially burning on the edges before the middles are fully baked through. Consider the baking sheets you are using as well - light or dark. Both bake differently. All ovens are different and it’s worth it to buy an oven thermometer to know what it’s actually baking at as opposed to what you have it set at. You’d be very surprised how different it may be!
I’m going to link some popular recipes below. Any baking recipe is personal for each individual and what you use really depends on what you like, so experiment and find what works best for you. I hope these tips will also help you in getting that perfect cookie pallet for your decorating!
Corianne Froese is the owner and operator of Corianne's Custom Cookies in Chestermere AB, Canada. When life as a wife and mom of two young boys allows, she loves to create and share her love of decorated cookies with others. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook for her most up to date work!