The Perfect Sugar Cookie

Makes 20 cookies
Adapted from 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble and Savor

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup of cold vegetable shortening
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 large, cold egg
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350° F and line two heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Place the vegetable shortening and 1 cup of the sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg, corn syrup, vanilla and almond extracts and blend on a low speed until combined. Make certain to scrap down the sides of the bowl periodically during this mixing.

On a low speed, add the flour mixture to the shortening, sugar and egg mixture, until it is all incorporated and the dough comes together though is still slightly sticky.

If you want at this point, you can refrigerate the dough to firm it up a bit, though it’s not completely necessary.

For each cookie, roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and coat with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar to coat them. Coarser sugar might also work here and look great on these cookies. Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake each pan about 11 minutes total or until the sides of the cookies are a golden brown but the centers remain pale. If needed, turn the baking sheets while cooking to ensure consistent baking.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets and remove to wire racks after 5 minutes to cool completely.