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Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

With Thanksgiving just a week away, I imagine you’re knee-deep in recipe ideas.  Well here’s one more.  No, it’s not a dish or dessert for the big meal, but rather something quick and delectable to pull together when your overnight guests wake in the morning.  Something that will make them feel warm and cozy and loved.  These pumpkin scones are fantastic, and you’d do well to remember that I’m very fussy about my scones. Too hard– forget it. Too dry– kick them to the curb. But those ones that are just right– firm on the outside and flakey on the inside– well, I could devour a whole pan. These fit into that just right, or rather “perfect” category.

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

So, through the years of playing around with different scone recipes, I’ve learned that one thing is the key.  And I’ve shared this before, but it’s so important that I’ll emphasize it again.  Use grated frozen butter.  Always use grated frozen butter.  In fact– use grated frozen butter for most baked goods– pie crusts and biscuits included.  Keeping the dough completely cold is the key to it’s flakiness.   It’s so simple to grab a stick of butter from the freezer on a whim and whip these up. Aside from the convenience, grated butter means that you don’t have to work as hard to incorporate it into the flour.  It’s already in tiny pea-sized pieces.  I’ve found that using my hands works best. Toss it around a bit and then mix in the wet ingredients with a fork or spatula. The less you work with scone dough, the better they’ll turn out.

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Keep in mind that all of the flour does not need to be fully incorporated– it’s ok if your dough has a bit of flour on the top– in fact it’ll be easier this way. This dough is more wet than my usual scone recipe because of the pumpkin.  So be sure to sprinkle a bit of flour on your hands before you pat it out into a circle and cut it into wedges. Because it’s a wetter dough, freezing them on the pan for 15 minutes before they bake is also important to help them keep their shape.  These scones have all the autumnal spices you’d expect and taste amazing with a hot cup of coffee.  I love the addition of maple and nutmeg into the icing.  It adds character.  I hope these scones find their way onto your kitchen table one of these cold, snowy mornings.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

The Recipe: Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing

(makes 6-8)

For the Scones:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (11 1/4 ounces)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup plain canned pumpkin (Farmers Market Organic Pumpkin is my favorite brand)

1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt

3 eggs, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, coarsely grated

turbinado or demerara sugar for sprinkling

For the Icing:

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

about 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

pinch of salt (this is important– it will enhance the flavor of the icing, so don’t be stingy)

roasted salted hazelnuts, for topping (almonds, pistachios, or walnuts would work, too)

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon.

In a medium-sized bowl mix together the brown sugar, pumpkin, yogurt, 2 eggs, and vanilla.

In a small bowl, use a fork to mix 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water, the the egg wash.

Coarsely grate the butter using the largest holes on a box grater.  Work quickly, so the ingredients stay cold.  Mix the butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips.  You want the butter to be coated with the flour.  Work quickly.  Then, using a fork or spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the butter/flour mixture. Do not over-mix.  It’s ok to see specks of flour that haven’t been fully incorporated.  Sprinkle countertop with flour, as well as your hands. The dough will be sticky. Place dough on the counter and pat into a 6-inch round circle. Use a bench knife or a chef’s knife to cut into 6-8 wedges.  Place the wedges on the lined baking sheet and put into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove from freezer and apply egg wash with a pastry brush.  Then sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until they feel set in the middle and they have developed a beautiful deep golden color. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

To make the Icing: Whisk all of the ingredients together until creamy.  Add more cream, if need be.  Dollop the icing onto the scones and smooth out.  Top with salted roasted hazelnuts, or your nut of choice.  Store leftovers in an airtight container, but they are best if eaten the first day.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

About once or twice every holiday season, I find myself craving a good ginger cookie.  They taste like Fall, perfectly distilled into a little round treat.  The warm, earthy spices, the bits of heat from the ginger, along with the unique flavor from the molasses are magical.  And since I only eat ginger cookies once or twice a year, I want them to be fantastic– really something special.  This, friends, is that class of ginger cookie.

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

A couple years ago, my friend made these cookies and they blew me away.  The little bits of candied ginger really stood out.  She pointed me to the recipe and I’ve been making them ever since– with my own tweaks, of course.   I actually thought about crafting my own recipe this year, but then realized that there was really not a point.  This is the ginger cookie that I want.  It’s perfectly crisp on the outside, wonderfully chewy on the inside.  It’s spice combination is perfect, and there is  just enough molasses to bring it all together without being overpowering.  I love this ginger cookie.  And it’s even better rolled in  demerara or turbinado  sugar.  The extra crunch from the large granules is key.  Also, try it with a light sprinkle of sea salt on the very top.  Amazing.  And there’s an added bonus– these keep a bit longer than an average cookie, so making them ahead for gift-giving or cookie exchanges is a great option.  I hope you enjoy these cookies this holiday season!

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

The Recipe: Spiced Ginger Cookies

(makes about 30)

2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped finely

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1 large egg (at room temperature)

1/4 cup mild-flavored molasses

Some sort of raw sugar for rolling, Turbinado or Demerara work well

Whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.  Next, sift them together.  This will get rid of any lumps that ground spices sometimes form.  Stir in the crystallized ginger.  Set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or by hand), cream the butter and brown sugar together for about 3 minutes on medium speed or until light and fluffy.  Next, add the egg and molasses to the mixture and continue to mix on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes.  It is integral in any cookie recipe to cream the butter,sugar, and egg together long enough.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just fully incorporated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  When the dough is chilled, roll it out into balls  ( I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop) and roll them into the raw sugar.  Press down slightly ( but not too much) to flatten them a bit– or else they’ll end up being fairly puffy cookies.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes on the pan, then move to a cooling rack.  They keep  well for days in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Have a great weekend.

Laurie

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The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

I know it’s a bit much to say that these are the best apple bars that exist in the world.  But the truth is, I’ve never had better.  These are the apple bars that I grew up with– the ones that my Mom made.  I begged for these beauties throughout my childhood.  And I haven’t found a better apple bar in the last 30 years.

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

This is almost identical to recipe that my Mom used– it still has the wonderful unique qualities that make these bars so good.  There are crushed cornflakes on the bottom layer, which may sound a bit odd.  But they add something amazing– something magical– to the texture of the bars.  I wouldn’t say it’s a “crunch”, but whatever it is, it’s necessary.  The meringue is still there, too.  Meringue on apple bars isn’t standard, but on these it adds a little wow-factor in both appearance and texture.   I sometimes increase the amount of meringue, because my daughter and I fancy it so much.

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

The one thing that I did change about the recipe is substituting butter for the shortening that my Mom used.  I’ve actually made them both ways in order to see if using shortening was worth it (I don’t generally cook with shortening).  I used a butter-flavored shortening for comparison, and while it did lack a bit in flavor, it also made for a sturdier crust.  In the end, I decided that butter was the better option.  The crust is still amazing, and I’d rather put good, quality butter into my kids’ diet than shortening.  So, you can decide which route you want to go– either way will make an amazing apple bar.

The Best Apple Bars | Relishing It

A side note:  I’ve been a mother for seven years as of yesterday.  This sweet boy has brought so much joy to my life.  He’s an old soul, a funny trickster, and has a huge heart.  I’ve loved every day with him.  Happy Birthday to our sweet Aanen!

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The Recipe:  The Best Apple Bars

For the Dough:

2 1/2 cups (11 7/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed (or coarsely grated, if frozen)

1 egg yolk in a measuring cup, then filled with milk to reach 2/3 cup total

For the Filling:

about 9 medium apples (or more), thickly sliced

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes

1-2 egg whites (depending upon how much meringue you like)

For the Icing:

about 1 cup powdered sugar

splash of milk

To Make the Dough:  In a large bowl, whisk the flour, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and salt together.  Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until it is crumbly (it should resemble small peas).  Then, use a fork to mix in the egg yolk and milk mixture.  Mix until all of the dry ingredients are wet.  Put the mixture onto a flour surface and knead a couple of times and divide into two.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.  (Follow these photos, if you feel the need for visual help.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Peel and slice the apples.  You may need more or less apples depending upon the size of them.  You’ll want enough apples to fill the pan to the top.   In a medium bowl, toss the apples, cinnamon, sugar, and a pinch of salt together.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one ball of dough out to fit into a 9 x 13 x 1 inch pan.  It should hang over the edge just a bit.  Sprinkle the crushed cornflakes onto the pan.  Then top with the apples.  Roll out the other ball of dough to fit on the top.  Fold the two layers of dough together along the edge and then press together with a fork to prevent leaking.  Meanwhile, using a stand mixer, or handheld, beat the egg white(s) until somewhat stiff.  Gently place the egg whites on the top of the bars.  This can be somewhat unruly and you may have to use your fingers.  Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown.  Make sure the meringue doesn’t get too dark.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Mix the powdered sugar and milk together and drizzle over the bars.   These bars are best eaten within the first two days.  Store leftovers underneath a tea towel.  Enjoy!

Thank you so much for stopping by Relishing It!  Have a wonderful weekend.

xo

Laurie

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Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

Alright, let’s have a serious talk about scones.  I absolutely love them, but I’m amazed at how difficult it is to get a good scone at most bakeries.  They’re often too cake-y, too hard, or too dry.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve ordered a scone that looked just right behind the display, but ended up disappointed once I took that first bite.  Of course, there are those few bakeries that get it perfectly right.  I’ve tried to capture their perfect combination of texture and flavor in this recipe.

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

For me, the ideal scone needs to be both dense and airy.  And no, I don’t think those qualities are mutually exclusive.  A scone should have heft, or substance, but at the same time not resemble a cake.  If I wanted cake, I’d have made one.  And I don’t want a dry scone that crumbles apart and leaves a dusty, parched feel in my mouth.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that a really good scone requires a delicate balance– and I think this receipe gets that balance just right.  Plus, you get the added bonus of whole grains and delicious blueberries that transform into something close to a jam when baked.  Delicious.

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing it

These scones take only a few minutes to mix up and about 20 minutes to bake.  The less you fuss with them, the better they tend to be.  In other words, don’t overmix these babies.  Those butter clumps will melt in the oven and result in that beautiful airy quality that you’re looking for.   Frozen butter works just as well here as refrigerated, so don’t stress if you forgot to thaw it.  So whether it’s for a weekday breakfast or a relaxing one on the weekend– these scones are what you’re looking for.  Give them a try.

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing it

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Whole Grain Blueberry Scones

Makes 6-8

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or frozen (not thawed)

10 ounces (2 cups) white whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 eggs, divided

1/2 cup whole milk yogurt

6 tablespoons very cold, or frozen butter

zest of one lemon

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

For the Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 –  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat an oven to 400 °F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix 2 eggs, the yogurt, and lemon zest together.  Set aside.

In another small bowl, mix 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water for an egg wash.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together.  Then cube or grate (with the large holes of a box grater) your cold or frozen butter.  Use a pastry blender to mix it together.  Incorporate it until the clumps are pea sized.  This will take virtually no time if using grated butter.  Just be sure to coat all the butter with the flour.  Then add the blueberries.  Use the pastry blender to incorporate by flipping/tossing the ingredients together.  Don’t smash the blueberries, for goodness sakes.  Then, add the egg/yogurt mixture and stir together with a fork or a rubber spatula.  Remember to not overwork the dough.

Sprinkle a bit of flour down on a clean surface and pour the dough onto it.  Pat it into a 6-inch round.  Use a knife or a bench knife to cut it into 6-8 triangles.  Place them on the parchment paper and use a pastry brush to lightly cover each scone with the egg wash.  Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar and bake for 20 minutes, or until a nice golden brown.  Let cool.

In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together until your desired consistency.  Drizzle over the scones.   They keep well for days in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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For the record, healthy eating is NOT the theme on Relishing It this week.  Don’t worry, I’ll return with several wonderful recipes next week loaded with seasonal produce.  But not this week.  For now, let’s just enjoy these fantastic sticky buns  from earlier, and today’s ridiculously good mini-burgers.  I am a bit of a burger connoisseur.  I know, I know.  I say that about a lot of things.  But the fact is, if there’s a dish I like, I try as many versions of it as I can.  It’s almost as if I need to approach it from every angle.  For burgers, I have my favorite combinations.  I enjoy the fancy ones with melted brie cheese just as much as I enjoy the not-so-classic with swiss and sauerkraut (which is incredible, by the way).  And the classic thick piece of raw onion on a plain burger with ketchup and mustard is heavenly.  I could go on and on.

These mini-burgers (I have a hard time calling them ‘sliders’, because it just reminds me of White Castle) with red wine shallot butter are one of my favorite glammed-up ways to eat a burger.  They are, quite simply, amazing.  More like, over-the-top amazing.  I could eat them everyday, but my clothes would not fit within a few weeks.  They’re perfect if you’re looking for a show-stopper for a Summer party.  You can make everything ahead of time, and once the guests arrive, just pop them on the grill.

One of the biggest flavors– and certainly the biggest time consumer– is making the incredible red wine shallot butter.  You reduce an entire bottle of red wine with one cup of shallots, for about an hour.  Once it’s reduced, you mix this into the whipped butter and chill it.  This butter is the key to the whole dish, and it’s so intense that you only need a little pat on your burger.  You’ll see in the photos that I tend to add a thicker slice, because I just can’t get enough of the flavor.  When you make the red wine shallot butter, you’ll end up having some left-over.  This is good, because it keeps well in the freezer and can be used later…perhaps on a steak for the weekend?

I flavored the grass-fed beef with onions and a fair amount of fresh thyme.  The thyme adds a wonderful earthiness and pairs perfectly with the red wine and shallots.  And yes, if you’ve looked ahead to the recipe, you’ll see there’s also butter mixed in with the ground beef.  It works here, because the grass-fed beef is so lean.  Trust me on this, it’s phenomenal.  Personally, I like these burgers in mini-form.  I made the sourdough buns in the photos, as well.  They ended up being a perfect fit.  Find whatever small bun you can, or make your own.  Just gather some friends and make these burgers, everyone will be happy.

The Recipe:  Grass-Fed Mini Burgers with Red Wine Shallot Butter

For the Burgers:

2 pounds grass-fed ground beef

1 stick unsalted butter

1 medium white onion, minced

1 3/4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

Freshly chopped parsley

Red Wine Shallot Butter

1/2 cup minced shallots

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 bottle of red wine (Merlot or Cabernet work great)

1/2 pound unsalted butter, whipped

To make the red wine shallot butter:  In a large saucepan, combine the shallots, red wine, and sugar.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a medium simmer.  Continue to reduce for about an hour  until the mixture it is somewhat “syrupy”, but almost dry.  See photos.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Mix into the whipped butter until homogenous.  Use parchment paper or plastic wrap to roll into logs and chill until firm.

To make the burgers:  Remove ground beef from the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour before mixing.  It’ll need to warm a bit to properly mix with the butter.  In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add about 2 tablespoons of the butter and the onion.   Sweat them until they are translucent.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  In a large bowl, add the thyme, pepper, egg,  salt, and onions.  Whip the remaining butter until smooth.  Add the butter and ground beef to the bowl and mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix (which can lead to a tough burger).  Form into patties and place on waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Grill or fry the burgers and top with a slice of the red wine shallot butter and a sprinkle of parsley!

Source:  Adapted from Bar Lurcat, in Minneapolis, MN

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Hope you all have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Laurie

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Ahhh…citrus in Spring.  Fresh, vibrant, and beautiful.  You already know that I’m a sucker for pretty much anything citrus-related– just take a look at these and this… and these… and this…and this..and these…and these…and this…  Wow!  I didn’t realize I was that big of a sucker for citrus!  Well, you get the point.  Another great way to indulge in these brilliant fruits is by making curd.  I know, the name doesn’t sound very appealing, but think of it more as a silky, citrus pudding.  Much better.

Today’s dish relies on my favorite citrus curd recipe.  It’s foolproof.  You can use any type of citrus (lemon, grapefruit, and lime work too!), and it’ll turn out perfect every time.  Personally, I love lemon curd the best, but Radd is a big fan of orange, so this batch was for him.

One of the best things about curd is that it’s so versatile.  It’s a great topping for shortbread or toast.  I often fill white cupcakes with it and top them with a beautiful meringue frosting.  And of course, it is perfect paired with classic scones, the second recipe for today’s dish.  You know the kind I’m referring to– the one’s that aren’t fussy or fancy.  The ones that go with anything.  Jam and clotted cream, anyone?  Spread a little fresh citrus curd on a scone, pour a cup of coffee, and take in the Spring morning.  Perfect.

The Recipe: Orange Curd with Classic Scones

Orange Curd

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2/3 cup fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

In a small bowl, combine the eggs and egg yolks and lightly beat, set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the butter and sugar.  Beat for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the eggs.  Beat for 1 minute.  Pour in the orange juice and continue to mix.  The mixture will look curdled — this is fine, it will smooth out as it cooks.

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it begins to look smooth.  The curdled appearance will disappear as the butter melts.  Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, between 10-15 minutes.  It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and a thermometer should read 170°F.  Do not let the mixture boil.

Remove from heat.  Stir in the orange zest.  Transfer to a bowl and place plastic wrap against the curd to keep a skin from forming.  Place in the refrigerator.  The curd will thicken as it chills.  It will last in the refrigerator covered for 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

 

Classic Scones

(Makes 8-10 scones)

2 cups unbleached cake flour (11 ounces), plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (or anything coarse), divided

5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 – 3/4- cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar into a food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine.  Add the butter, and pulse a few more times until the mixture resembles cornmeal.  Medium chunks of butter are just fine.

Add the egg and enough of the cream to form a slightly sticky dough.  It should stick to your hands a bit, but shouldn’t be overly wet.  Adjust cream/ flour as necessary.

Remove dough from food processor and place on a lightly floured surface.  With flour on your hands, pat dough into a flat 3/4-inch thick circle.  Use a round 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out scones.  Place them on the baking sheet.  Brush with cream and sprinkle with remaining sugar.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Source: Scones adapted from the New York Times.  Orange curd adapted from Fine Cooking

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Laurie

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My kids love to help me make holiday cookies.  We smear them with frosting (which must be tasted, over and over as we work), and decorate them with a hodgepodge of sprinkles.  And yes, the kids get to help with everything.  It’s worth it, even if the process takes a bit longer.  The kitchen counter ends up covered with frosting, and the floor is dusted with sprinkles that hide and reappear for days.

If you have children, you know how important it is to have a go-to sugar cookie recipe for the kids to cut out and decorate.  Heck, as far as I’m concerned, even if you don’t have kids you should have a great sugar cookie recipe.  I’ve tried so many different versions, and after years of testing have decided that this one is my favorite.  It’s quick, reliable, and most importantly it’s very, very good.

These sugar cookies are just what I like– crisp around the edges and soft in the middle.  They have a rich buttery flavor, and the frosting is soft and perfect.  Even better, these cookies are simple to make.  So there is no reason to settle for that pre-made cookie dough with the funky aftertaste from the supermarket.  Make these.  You’ll be happy you did.

The Recipe: Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

(Makes about 2 dozen cookies, though it depends on the size of your cookie cutter)

1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups (420 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Frosting

About 3 1/4 cups (1 pound/ 454 grams) confectioners’ sugar

About 3 tablespoons milk, more if necessary

4 ounces softened cream cheese

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, once again.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well mixed.  On low speed, slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture.  Mix until evenly incorporated.

Place the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a disk shape, about 8-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick.  Wrap completely in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until it is firm enough to roll out.  Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in a freezer for up to 1 month.  If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

Position rack in the center of an oven, and heat to 350°F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly flour a work surface, place the dough on the surface and lightly flour the dough, as well as the rolling pin. Roll out dough to be about 1/4-inch thick.  Make sure to keep the work surface well-floured to prevent sticking.  Use a cookie cutter and cut out as many cookies as possible.  Place them on the lined cookie sheet with a normal amount of space between them.  Gather scraps and reroll; continue until all of the dough is gone.

Bake cookies for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges and pale to light brown in the centers.  The baking time may be shorter or longer depending upon the size of your cookies.  Keep a watchful eye.  Let them cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for a couple of minutes until soft and smooth.  Add the confectioners sugar and milk.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add a bit more milk, if necessary.  You will want the frosting to be somewhat thick, or else it will slide off of the cookies.  Mistakes can easily corrected by adding more confectioners’ sugar or milk.  Frost the cookies and sprinkle with decorations.  Let set for a few minutes before serving.  The cookies keep well in an airtight container for about 4 days.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Joanne Chang’s Flour Cookbook

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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