Every year I have grand plans of being super on top of things, with homemade gifts at the ready for friends and family, holiday cards done and mailed well in advance, and nothing to do but admire twinkle lights and watch Love Actually and Elf on a repeat loop. I dream of a stress-free holiday, where I throw festive dinner parties during which I have done all my prep ahead of time so I’m showered and primped for guests instead of frenzied and a little sweaty. I fantasize about making beautifully wrapped presents with things like DIY pom poms and handcrafted gift tags.
Alas, a girl can dream.
This year, I was able to accomplish a fraction of these things, all while frantically getting my last minute travel plans together…to PERU!!! That’s right, friends! As we speak, I am in the land of ceviche and pisco sours. I’ll be headed up to Machu Picchu in a few short days, and then can’t wait to cook and eat and shop with a fellow food blogger in Lima, the lovely Morena of Peru Delights! I have also already made the delightful discovery that alpacas are indeed my spirit animal.
So, I’ll be going dark until the new year. But before I go, I wanted to leave you with this classic sugar cookie recipe. I love it because not only does it give you a delightfully chewy sugar cookie (which is rare), it is so simple and absolutely no fuss. You can whip this up in the midst of holiday craziness no problemo – no electric mixer needed, you don’t even need to have softened butter ready (because, let’s be real, who has time to plan ahead for things like softened butter this time of year).
With such a great, easy recipe in your pocket, you can focus on what really matters, like spending more QT with the kids…or getting a massage (treat yo self, gurl, you deserve it!).
If you are getting after the holiday cookie mania this year, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite cookie posts:
- 12 Days of Cookies
- Holiday Cookies: Best of the Best
- Chocolate Crack Cookies
- Chewy Pumpkin Toffee Cookies
- NYT Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Christmas Cookie Jars
Have the happiest of holidays!!!
A classic holiday sugar cookie, with a wonderfully chewy texture and sweet, buttery, vanilla flavor with just a hint of coconut. Best of all, this recipe is totally no fuss. Whip it up at a moment’s notice – no need to soften butter or even use an electric mixer!
- 2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pea-sized pieces
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (can sub with vegetable oil)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.
- Place 1½ cups sugar and cream cheese in large bowl. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.
- If you plan using cookie cutters, at this point, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or even overnight). This will ensure that the dough is firm enough to roll out. Roll out the dough directly on a silpat or parchment paper, with a second piece of parchment paper sandwiching the dough so that it doesn’t stick to the table or your rolling pin. This will also make it really easy to cut out your shapes directly on the silpat/paper and transfer it to a baking sheet without having to worry about cutting the shape, then moving/lifting it onto the baking sheet. I’ve ended up with many a smushed snowman that way. Evenly space the cookies out on your baking sheet and decorate!
- If you’re doing drop cookies, divide dough into 24 equal pieces, or use a trigger scoop that measures about 2 tablespoons. The dough will be softer than most cookie doughs, so try to handle the dough as quickly and gently as possible, or chill it (overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies). Portion out the dough, roll the dough into balls using your hands, and then roll the balls in sugar or decorative sprinkles to coat. Evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using bottom of a cup, flatten the dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with a bit more sugar.
- Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.
(Adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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