Sweeten-Up Any Occasion With Cookies

Baking cookies may be a tradition come the holiday season, but just about any time of year is ideal for preparing favorite doughs and getting out those cookie sheets. In fact, National Sugar Cookie Day is celebrated each July 9th, and sugar cookies are some of the most basic, yet versatile cookies for home chefs to perfect.

Sugar cookies are tasty served on their own, but rolled-and-cut varieties often are expertly decorated with icing. Depending on the recipe, sugar cookies may be firm and hold up to decorating, or soft and chewy — melting in the mouth. This recipe for “Easy Cut-Out Sugar Cookies” from the baking experts at Land O’Lakes® produces rolled sugar cookies ready for decorating. According Land O’Lakes®, the method of mixing these cookies doesn’t require softening the butter or chilling the dough before cutting out the cookies.

Easy Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Makes 32 cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup cold Land O’Lakes® Butter, cut into chunks
1 large Land O’Lakes® egg
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; set aside.

3. Place sugar and butter into bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed until well combined. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract; beat until well mixed. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed until just combined.

4. While removing dough from bowl, knead to incorporate crumbs and form smooth dough. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1⁄8-inch thickness.

5. Cut into shapes with 21⁄2-inch cookie cutter. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to brown around edges. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Tip: If planning to cut with intricate cutters, chill dough 30 minutes before rolling and cutting. This ensures the cookies will hold their detailed shape.

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