Simple, Buttery Sugar Cookies
I created these very simple sugar cookies to act as a vehicle for our Vanilla Extract Taste Test. And then, the unexpected happened. Several tasters remarked on how much they loved this very unassuming cookie! I guess we are bombarded by cookies packed with chocolate chunks and spices and nuts so often that we forget how comforting and delectable a humble sugar cookie can be. This is that cookie.
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- Position racks in upper and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl to aerate and combine; set aside.
- Beat butter with electric mixer until lightened and creamy. Add 1 ½ cups sugar gradually and beat on high speed until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place remaining ½ cup sugar in small bowl; set aside. Beat vanilla into dough, then beat in egg. Add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.
- Use 2 teaspoons or a #40 Zeroll scoop to form cookies by scooping up about a golf-ball size worth of dough and dropping into bowl of reserved sugar. Use hands to roll dough into a ball and to completely cover with sugar. Repeat with remaining dough and place sugared dough balls on baking sheet 2-inches apart.
- Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookie tops are dry and the bottoms are just turning light brown. Place pans on racks to cool. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.
- As with all recipes as simple as this, the quality of ingredients is paramount. Use fresh butter and eggs and your choice of vanilla extract will certainly affect the flavor of these cookies, which is largely derived from the butter and the vanilla used.
- Read about the nuances of pure vanilla extract versus imitation vanilla extract in our Vanilla Extract Taste Test; the choice is up to you.
- Do not over bake or they will loose their slightly chewy texture, which is part of their appeal, in my opinion.