Baking is a meditative art. Unlike cooking, baking doesn’t reward the slapdash choice, the inspired switch, the last-minute ingredient. Rather, baking finds its highest art when accompanied by thoughtfulness and attention. As we near Valentine’s Day, we take the leap to suggest that, like baking, so too does love benefit from thoughtfulness and attention. And how about this: Baking is really its own form of love.
This sugar cookie recipe is an easy one, a great project to share with children, and fun basis for a treat on any occasion.
But it is also an invitation to consider how the simplicity of creating a sugar cookie can be a powerful thing.
While you cream and beat and roll and cut, you’re also showing your love. Sweet!
Roll-out Sugar Cookies
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, slightly soft
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs and then the vanilla. Add flour mixture all at once, mixing just until the flour is incorporated, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Form the dough into 2 discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the over to 350F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thick. Cut the dough using your favorite cookie cutter and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the baked cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely before decorating or serving.
These cookies can be flavored with anything from spices to coffee to citrus zest. We like to use India Tree’s brand of naturally colored decorating sugar on top.