The Perfect Sugar Cookie
Yield: Approximately 30 medium/small mixed shape cookies
*Note: recipe updated my recipe to a reduced 1 teaspoon of baking powder, which creates a more compact cookie that won't lose shape when baked.
6 cups (750 grams/1 lb + 10 ounces) sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
2 cups unsalted butter, (1 lb, 454 grams, 16 ounces) softened for about 2 hours at room temperature
2 cups (400 grams/14 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs (straight from refrigerator)
2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) pure lemon extract
1. In large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
2. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.
3. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla and lemon extract.
Steps to the perfect rolled dough (again, modest, I know):
4. Remove 1/2 of dough from bowl, make a ball, and place on a large piece of plastic wrap on counter.
5. Wrap the sides of wrap over the ball, then press down with the palm of your hand and make a disc about 2" thick. Finish wrapping the disc with the plastic wrap. Repeat with 2nd half of dough.
6. Chill both discs of dough for about 45 minutes.
7. Remove one disc and remove plastic wrap. Place on top of a large piece of parchment paper (I use a silicone rolling mat underneath to ensure it doesn't slip while rolling, but you can even dampen counter so the parchment sticks a bit.), then place 2 wooden dowels on either side of your dough, then another sheet of parchment paper.
8. Roll dough (this will require a bit of elbow grease for the first few minutes until it softens up a bit) so it's flush with dowels--they will ensure that your dough is even thickness.
9. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Slide your parchment paper and dough onto a board, then place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
10. Remove from fridge, and cut your shapes using the cutters of your choice, placing them on a baker's half sheet lined with a Silpat Mat, with 2" clearance around each one and the edge of sheet.
11. Place sheet with cookies into freezer for 15 minutes before baking. Then bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
12. Cool sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes, then gently remove cookies and place on wire racks to finish cooling.
May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. They also freeze well.
You can find more of my tips on making the perfect sugar cookie and cookie pops in the previous post Steps to Making the Perfect Sugar Cookie and Cookie Pop.
Tools & Ingredients For Decorating Little Pea Sugar Cookie Pops
1. Approximately 1 oz (29 grams) of green fondant (I used Sugarflair "Gooseberry" with a hint of Americolor Electric Green to colour white fondant) per 4-pea cookie.
2. Approximately a "pea-size" ball of light pink fondant for cheeks (I used a few drops of Americolor Soft Gel Paste .75 oz Deep Pink Color to colour white fondant), per cookie.
3. Small fondant rolling pin (I use Wilton Fondant 9 Inch Rolling Pin) with 1/8" guides
4. Nested circle cookie cutters (I use Ateco 5357 11 Piece Plain Round Cutter Set)
5. Small amount of royal icing for "glueing" fondant to cookies
6. Black decorator pen (I use the black marker included in the rainbow coloured decorator pens (Gourmet Writer Food Decorator Pens, Assorted Colors, Set of 10) for eyes and mouths
7. Non-toxic glitter for cheeks, optional (I used a dash of a green apple colour)
Steps to Making the Little Pea Sugar Cookies
1. Using a variety of circle cookie cutters (I used ) cut your "papa pea," "mama pea," "toddler pea," and "baby pea" from the very chilled cookie dough. Or, of course, you can also create 2 pea, 3 pea, or 4+ cookies.
2. Using the corresponding cutter, cut small nick out of circles where you want to nest the smaller circles and gently press the circles of dough together so they are touching. They will expand a bit while baking, which will also aide in keeping them all together.
3. Insert your cookie pop stick (again, you view photos and cookie pop tutorial here) into the bottom of your cookie with a gentle turning motion until the stick is about 2/3 of the way up. (*You could also make these cookies without sticks, and they would be just as adorable!)Using a flat metal spatula to lift the cookie pops to your parchment or baking-mat lined cookie sheets.
4. Freeze for 30+ minutes and bake according to above recipe instructions.
5. On a lightly dusted (cornstarch or icing sugar) surface, roll out a few ounces of green fondant until it's 1/8" thick (I use the purple guides on the small white Wilton rolling pin to ensure fondant is even). Using the corresponding circle cutters you used for the cookies, cut out the circles in the same manner/layout you did for each cookie.
6. Gently fit the pieces together for each cookie, and leave to dry for about 30 minutes (give or take). Because fondant is so pliable and soft when it's first rolled, picking them up now or placing on the cookie now, would likely misshape them.
7. Repeat steps 5-6 until you have fondant circles for all of the cookies.
8. Apply a thin layer of royal icing on the cookie (be careful to not apply icing on the outer rim, where the cookie will be exposed), and gently place and attach the fondant pieces with a gently smoothing motion.
9. Using black decorator pen, carefully draw on eyes, mouths, and eyelashes (for mamas). *I find if you go too thick with the mouths and eyes, etc. they aren't as cute, so you'll want to take care to make those details as fine as possible.
10. Roll small ball of pink fondant and flatten (or you can use the small end of a plain round piping tip to cut out cheeks). Secure to cookie with a tiny spec of water. Add sprinkle of edible glitter over cheeks, if desired.
Good luck & enjoy!