Simple Steps for Making Sugar Cookies

  • 01 of 10

    Cream Your Butter and Sugars

    Using room temperature ingredients is common is many recipes.
    Using a stand mixer makes the mixing process so much easier. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    Even before this step, I've already:
    • Chosen a recipe.
    • Made sure I had all the ingredients.
    • Cleaned my work area.
    • Gotten out my ingredients and allowed them to come to room temperature.
    • Pulled-out my measuring cups, mixer, mixing bowls, wax paper and one cookie sheet.

    Creaming the butter* and sugar**(s) is the first step in the actual dough-combining process.

    *Since these cookies were going to be the snack for my daughter's Girl Scout troop, I used half real butter and half solid shortening....MORE This combination makes for a sturdier cookie, which is less likely to break when being grabbed out of the container.

    **There is only one sugar, white, in this recipe. Other cookie recipes (like Chocolate Chip) may call for brown sugar as well.
    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Scrape Bowl and Beater During Mixing Process

    This step is important to get a better blended batter.
    I use a good quality spatula that isn't heat-sensitive and won't flake into my foods. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    I scrape my bowl and beater with a rubber spatula a few times during the dough-making process.
    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Mixing the Dry Ingredients

    I just love my OXO wire whisk. The handle is so comfortable in my hand.
    This process will take away any chance of tasting the baking powder. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    I like to use a wire whisk to better incorporate the baking powder and salt with the flour.
    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Gradually Add Flour Mixture

    Watch the speed on your stand mixer.
    Mix for a bit and then be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture gradually while the mixer is running on low. If the mixer is running any faster and too much flour is added, flour will go everywhere.
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Preparing to Roll Out Dough

    Not using enough flour will make the cookie dough stick to everything.
    Using too much flour can make the cookies dry. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    I prefer to make my cookie dough one day and roll out the cookies the next day. To do that:

    • Place a piece of waxed paper on the counter or bread board.
    • Lightly flour it.
    • Divide dough into quarters.
    • Roll into balls.
    • Place 1 ball on waxed paper.
    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Rolling Out the Dough

    Each and every time the rolling pin is used it must begin from the middle of the dough.
    Begin rolling the dough from the middle. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    • Lightly flour rolling pin.
    • Roll out dough ball until it's about 1/2 inch thick.
    • Lightly sprinkle top of dough with flour.
    • Place dough and wax paper onto a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator.
    • Continue this process until all four balls have been rolled out and place in the wax paper stack in the refrigerator.
    • Refrigerate dough for a least an hour. Overnight is preferred.
    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Cutting Out the Cookies

    I had to use a toothpick to get the dough out of my old fashioned cookie cutter.
    The cookie dough may not release from the cutter. It all depends on the temperature of the dough and the cookie cutter. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    The next day:
    • In a flat bowl or high-sided plate put some flour.
    • Remove 1 piece of wax paper with dough from refrigerator and place on counter.
    • Dip the cookie cutter in the flour and start cutting out cookies. Return the cutter to the flour after every couple of cookies.
    • Leftover dough should be put into a resealable bag to be re-rolled later after refrigeration.
    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Time to Bake and Decorate the Cookies

    If cookies are allowed to expand into one another, the desired shape will be ruined.
    Be sure to spread cookies out in the pan. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    • Place cookie cutouts at least 2 inches apart on a lightly greased* shiny metal cookie sheet.
    • If decorating with colored sugars, brush each cookie with either heavy cream or a slightly beaten egg white. Then sprinkle the cookies with the sugars. If desired, icing should only be put on the cookies after they've been baked.

    *I spray with cooking spray and then wipe it off with a paper towel. Cookies may also be baked on parchment paper or a nonstick pan liner.
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Cool Cookies on Wire Rack

    Take the cookies straight from the pan to the cooling racks.
    Make sure to have the cooling racks ready for the cookies to come out of the oven. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    I like to use a metal spatula with a head about the size of the cookie, which makes it easier to remove the cookies from the baking sheet.
    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Stack of Cookies

    Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.
    Can you tell what shape these cookies are? Hint: What group did I make them for? The answer can be found by rolling over the photo with your mouse. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.

    I ended-up baking 30 cookies for my daughter's Girl Scout Troop. Plus I was able to save about 1/4 of the cookie dough for my daughter to re-roll and bake later.

    No excuses, everyone should be able to bake cookies after following these simple instructions. Just so you know it was much easier to bake this batch of cookies than it was to take photos and write about it.

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