Recipe: Sugar cookie dough base
- 3 cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1½ cups (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups (8¾ ounces) superfine sugar
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
1 Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
2 Put the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Begin beating on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, or until very light and smooth.
3 Add the superfine sugar, ¼ cup at a time. When all of the sugar has been added, beat for 2 minutes.
4 Add the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Add the vanilla and continue to beat for 1 minute.
5 With the motor running, add half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk. When blended, add the remaining flour and beat to just barely blend. While the dough is still streaky, remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape the paddle clean.
6 Lightly flour a clean, flat work surface.
7 Scrape the dough onto the floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and finish mixing the dough by using a gentle kneading motion, working until the dough is just blended. Do not overwork the dough, you want to be certain that all of the ingredients are just blended together.
8 Form the dough into a disk and cover tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days), or until firm.
9 When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with nonstick silicone baking mats or parchment paper. (Alternatively, use
nonstick baking sheets or lightly butter conventional baking sheets.) Set aside.
10 Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the granulated sugar on a large flat plate.
11 Using a tablespoon or small ice-cream scoop, make mounds of dough. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into balls about 1½ inches in diameter.
12 Using your palm, gently flatten each ball to make a puck-like shape about 2 inches in diameter. Roll each cookie in the granulated sugar to coat completely and place them, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheets.
13 When all of the cookies are formed, place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until just barely brown around the edges.
14 Remove from the oven and, using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Note: Store, airtight, at room temperature.
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Excerpt from Milk & Cookies by Tina Casaceli, Copyright 2011. Photography Copyright 2011 Antonis Achilleos. Excerpted from Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.