Memorial Day is coming this weekend. You know what that means… It’s the kickoff for summer gatherings such as barbecues, picnics, and potlucks. Subsequently comes the question of what to cook or bake for them. You want to make something that pleases a bunch of folks and transports well too. My answer is Classic Sugar Cookies.
What makes these cookies classic? It’s the simplicity of the ingredients. Butter, flour, egg, leavening, and, of course, sugar. The dough can be either cutout or slice and bake. Either way, the cookies are topped with a sprinkling of sugar. The sprinkling could be regular granulated sugar, sanding sugar, or turbinado sugar. I went with turbinado because I like the big crystals and its slight caramel flavor.
Slice and bake cookies are easier than cutout ones. There’s a little less time involved too. Slicing into a log of dough takes only a few moments instead of rolling out dough and cutting. Plus the inevitable pulling together scraps, re-rolling, and more cutting. The only bonus of cutout is the fun shapes like my heart shaped Sour Cream Pecan Sandies or Ginger Molasses Cookies in holiday shapes.
How are these classic sugar cookies? They are crispy and buttery. Larger sugar crystals on top will give them an extra crunch too. That’s another reason I went with turbinado sugar. Sanding sugar has more theme related possibilities though. Think red, white, and blue for Memorial Day and Independence Day. You could use dad’s favorite team colors for Father’s Day. All you have to do is find the theme for the occasion and pick colors to match with it.
Enjoy the season and all your gatherings around the family table. Remember to make dessert! Treat everyone by baking classic sugar cookies. Then watch how fast they disappear from the cookie jar.
Classic Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Turbinado sugar or colored sanding sugar for topping
- Beat butter in a large bowl until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- Flour mixture and milk to creamed mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be slightly crumbly.
- Divide dough in half. Press one half of dough together then shape into an 8-inch long log. Wrap log in plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- Repeat with remaining half of dough. Chill dough overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick liners.
- Unwrap dough log and slice into 1/4-thick rounds. Place rounds 1-inch apart on cookie sheets.
- Sprinkle cookies with turbinado or sanding sugar.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
- Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.