I've been searching for the perfect recipe for sugar cookie cutouts for a looooong time. Like, for a bazillion and a half years.
Just kidding, I've only been searching for 19 years. Because from the second that I was born I was thinking about it. For realz.
And now, after years of experimenting and searching, I've finally mastered the art of sugar cookie making. These babies are soft and flavorful without spreading on the sheet or being to fragile to decorate. The most important part is using powdered sugar to roll them out instead of flour. It helps them to not dry out and gives them a thin, sweet layer of crispiness when they come out.
I made these on Saturday because we were having our cousins over for a cookie decorating party. Two of my mom's sisters and one of her brothers came with their kids. That's seven additional children not counting the seven of us hooligans that already live here. Crazy times, what what! And that's not even counting the aunts and uncles and parents who are actually just a bunch of big kids too. In fact, they probably had more fun decorating the cookies than the kids did. And we also had fun hot tubbing, guitar and banjo jamming, and pizza gorging.
The best part of these cookies is the buttercream. The relatives when CRAZY for this. It's not too sweet. It's buttery and smooth and wonderful. It would be great for frosting a cake.
That's only half of what I made. And we definitely ate ALL of it. Ever last bit. Not kidding.
Das ist mine cookie. I am a good decorator, no?
Hm. Needs more frosting.
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 vanilla beans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk
3 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Beat the sugar and butter on high for 7 minutes or until very fluffy. Scrape the beans from the vanilla bean pods. Beat in the honey, egg, yolk, and vanilla beans and extract until well combined. Mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder and mix into the rest until well combined.
Dough can be refrigerated at this point for probably about a week, but it's not necessary.
Roll out the dough on a clean surface that is thoroughly dusted in powdered sugar. Do not use flour. Cut into shapes and place on baking sheets covered in parchment paper. Freeze the sheets of unbaked cookies for about 7 minutes or until solid. Bake at 350º for 8-11 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. Cool on wire rack.
Vanilla Honey Buttercream
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 vanilla bean4 cups powdered sugar1 lb. cold butterScrape the beans from the vanilla bean pod with a knife. Beat the honey and vanillas until combined. Beat in half of the powdered sugar, then the half and half. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Cut the cold butter into small cubes. Add one stick of chopped butter at a time mixing on high speed with the whisk attachment on your stand mixer. Don't add the next stick of butter until the last one is thoroughly dissolved. Beat on high speed for 5-10 minutes or until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. Don't get worried if it looks weird at first, just keep beating until it looks right.