Sugar Cookies for a Pirate Theme Party
Jenny Keller is a baker to the stars and you can see her work at jennyscookies.com. She excels at developing themes, just like her shipwrecked/pirate theme baked goods shown here. Her book, Eat More Dessert, is packed with party ideas like a Princess Tea Party, Ice Cream Shop, Down on the Farm theme and others. Here is her simple sugar cookie recipe.
Excerpted with permission. Eat More Dessert: More than 100 Simple-to-Make & Fun-to-Eat Baked Goods From the Baker to the Starsby Jenny Keller. Published by Page Street Publishing copyright 2014. Photos by KCB Photography.
This is the recipe that started it all and the one that will always be dearest to me. Every time I tell students in my cookie decorating class that these sugar cookies are fail-proof, they eye me suspiciously. But once they try it themselves, they agree: Anyone can make them, and everyone will love them.
- 3 cups (375 G) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 cup (225 G) salted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature (do not use margarine for this recipe; it tastes better with butter)
- 1 cup (200 G) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 batch confectioners' sugar frosting
- Into a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder with a whisk. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar for about 11⁄2 minutes, or until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Turn the mixer speed to low and carefully add the flour mixture a little at a time, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Once all the flour has been incorporated, the dough should form a ball around the mixing attachment and feel soft but not sticky. Wrap the dough ball in a piece of plastic wrap and press down to form a 1-inch (2.5 cm)-thick disk. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before rolling or store for up to 7 days tightly wrapped.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured flat work surface to about 1⁄4-inch (6 mm) thickness, using additional flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Use cookie cutters to create desired shapes, and carefully transfer with a cookie spatula to a nonstick baking sheet, placing the cookies about 3⁄4 inch (2 cm) apart.
- Bake one sheet at a time in the middle of the oven for about 7-8 minutes, or until puffy. Allow the cookies to rest for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Continue rolling out the gathered scraps and remaining disk until all the dough has been used.
- Decorate the cookies with my buttercream frosting.
- While I’m waiting for my dough to chill in the refrigerator, I always regroup my kitchen. If you’ve ever been to my house, you’ll notice I’m constantly picking up. I have a hard time sitting down to relax if there’s a sink full of dishes. So when I’m baking, I clean as I go. Baking’s less stressful when you have a clean countertop to work from.