Welcome to the Month of the Cookie!!! Yep, that's right folks, we have officially hit December and that means that the holiday season is in full swing and it's time to start baking our favorite little treats!! So let's get started, shall we, because I've got some truly wonderful ones coming your way over the next few weeks! Today I'm sharing these easy to make and easy on the eye Sugar Cookie Sparkles direct from the pages of Sally's Cookie Addiction by Sally McKenney, my Famous Fridays honoree for the week. Grab those sprinkles and get ready to channel that inner cookie monster!! Happy December!
In addition to this book devoted to all things cookie, Sally is also the author of Sally's Baking Addiction and Sally's Candy Addiction as well as her popular blog, so you can be pretty sure that this gal knows a thing or two about dessert!! And she's no stranger to these pages either. Last year I shared her Candy Cane Bark--a huge hit with my family and now I'm excited to tell you all about her new cookie book. Besides being chock full of gorgeous color photos (which was what inspired me to feature these little gems) the book is filled with a wide variety of home-style cookies and lots of helpful hints for baking up the perfect cookie each and every time. There are tempting titles like Brown Butter Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Swirl Nutella Cookies, Chocolate Cashew Shortbread Wedges, Glazed Soft Maple Cookies and more. Plus, a lot of the recipes require the dough to chilled before baking and can be done up to 4 days in advance (like this one) which I personally love because you can mix up a batch in just minutes, store 'em in the fridge and then bake whenever you're ready. If you're looking for a holiday gift for that favorite baker in your life, you really can't go wrong with a copy of this book.
Nor can you go wrong with these on your holiday cookie platters. They're so colorful and holidayish, right? And though they may look all sparkly and fancy, the truth is that they are one of the easiest cookies I have ever made. The dough comes together in just minutes.
Then after a short (or long) stint in the fridge you roll them into balls and coat in the sanding sugar.
Right before you're ready to bake, you flatten them slightly...
And less than 15 minutes later, you're rewarded with little gems that sparkle outside and are soft and kind of chewy the way a perfect sugar cookie should be, inside.
No one will be able to resist them--least of all you!
Don't you just love Fridays?!! Now have yourself a great weekend (hopefully there'll be time to do something fun in the kitchen) take a look at Sally's Cookie Addiction if you have a chance and I'll be back next week with more great holiday recipes...and maybe just some normal food too, after all, we still have to eat!!
Sally's Sugar Cookie Sparkles-Famous Fridays
Makes about 32-34 cookies
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes, plus at least 1 hour and up to 4 days chilling time; Assembly Time: 20 minutes; Bake Time: 12-13 minutes
- 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 ounces brick cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Assorted colors of sanding sugar
1. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamy for about 1 minute. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat on high speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary so that all the ingredients are well combined. Add in the flour mixture and mix on low speed until no traces of flour are visible. The dough will be very thick.
3. Cover the bowl with a piece of aluminum foil (or transfer the mixture to an airtight container) and chill for at least one hour and up to 4 days.
4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. If you've chilled the dough for several hours, you will need to let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes so that it's soft enough to work with.
5. Pour the different colors of sanding sugar into separate bowls and set aside.
6. Roll tablespoon-size clumps of dough into little balls and roll into the sanding sugar to coat them all over. Place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Use the back of a measuring cup or glass to gently press down on the cookies just to flatten them a bit. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until the cookies are just barely browned at the edges.
7. Let cool on baking sheets on wire racks for about 5 minutes and then transfer to the rack to finish cooling completely. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Note: Recipe adapted from Sally's Cookie Addiction by Sally McKenney. I omitted the 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract because we're not big fans of it.