Spiced Sugar Cookies
The holiday isn't complete without sugar cookies. And this version ends with a perfectly spiced finish.
Sugar cookies were the first thing I learned to bake as a young girl. They've been a holiday staple in my house as long as I can remember. My mom used to set up a table, filled with sprinkles and colored frostings, and let us decorate to our hearts content. She was never bothered by the mess, or our desire to stuff our faces with raw cookie dough.
My favorite part, aside from eating the cookies, was rolling the dough and cutting out perfectly shaped characters, like snowmen, reindeer, stars, and snowflakes. To me, the cookies were a craft project, and the much anticipated sign that Christmas had arrived.
I adore the traditional rolled sugar cookie, but this spiced up recipe is a bit more exciting. It falls somewhere between the classic, understated sugar cookie and the intense gingerbread cookie. It bakes to a beautiful golden color and tastes amazing with a simple powdered sugar glaze. The best part about these spiced sugar cookies is how gorgeous they look wrapped up as a gift.
Try my Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar cookies, too!
Spiced Sugar Cookies
* Makes about 6 dozen 2"-3" cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, on medium speed, till light and fluffy. About 3-5 minutes.
Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, one at a time. Mix well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl when needed.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
Divide the dough in half and flatten into a disk. Wrap separately in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Preheat your oven to 375°F and adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take one disk of dough and place on a well floured surface. Roll the dough to 1/8" thick. Begin cutting out shapes with cookie cutter, trying to fit as many as possible. Using a large flat spatula, transfer the cookies to parchment lined cookie sheets, about 1/2" apart.
Re-roll the scrapes of dough and cut more shapes. Try not to re-roll the dough more than twice, as it results in a slightly tougher cookie.
When baking sheets are filled, bake for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Reverse the cookie sheets halfway through.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
Repeat steps with remaining disk of chilled dough.
Baker's Note: These cookies will keep in an airtight container for 3 weeks.
Powdered Sugar Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
5-6 tablespoons whole milk
In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and milk together. Add milk to reach desired consistency. Use immediately to decorate cooled cookies or keep covered till ready to use. The glaze takes about an hour to harden and set.