Tuesday, December 18, 2012
100% Whole Wheat Super Tasty Vanilla Butter Sugar Cookies & Very Vanilla Frosting
Becca here with one of my absolute favorite recipes. My first note on the recipe is from 2005, so I've been making it for several years at least, and have no idea where I got the recipe. These are the perfect sugar cookies in my opinion; sweet with lots of vanilla and a nice buttery texture, plus they roll out and hold their shape very well, so they're perfect for cookie cutters and children helping! This year I experimented with making them with 100% whole grains. I usually grind my own wheat to make flour, but since not everyone does that, I also experimented with "King Arthur's organic white whole-wheat flour" that is pretty readily available, both in local stores and online. I was more than pleased with the final results of the modified recipe, and am happy to share it with you! These cookies have such a great flavor, I love them unfrosted as well as with the frosting recipe that follows. They do freeze well too, if you want to make the cookies ahead of time and have a decorating party later :) A couple of tips: 1) Use real vanilla extract. Not imitation or artificially flavored, the real deal. If you make your own it's less expensive anyway, and the taste is noticeably better! 2) Be sure and use real butter, they will not turn out the same with margarine. If you haven't researched the health effects of chemical laden margarine versus real butter anyway, I'd encourage you to do that. 3) Don't skip the refrigerating the dough step; make it the night before it you need to so you'll remember and not be rushed, but it's essential to being able to handle the dough, as well as them baking properly. 4) Instead of the whole wheat flour, I prefer to use a light dusting of cornstarch on my rolling surface (I use a large edgeless baking sheet) and rolling pin. I think it is more effective with a smaller amount, and doesn't dry out the surface of the cookie like using lots of flour, especially whole wheat, can. Enjoy!
100% Whole Wheat Super Tasty Vanilla Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used organic)
1 1/2 cups real butter, softened (not margarine!)
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons real vanilla extract (I make my own for a better flavor & to save money!)
4 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur's organic white whole-wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar & butter until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well until combined.
Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar), and gradually add to creamed butter mixture until completely blended.
Chill, covered, in the refrigerator at least an hour, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350.
On a lightly floured surface (see note above, I prefer cornstarch), roll dough to 1/4" thickness. This is fairly thick, but I never do mine any thinner than this, I think they are easier to handle and bake better with a thicker dough. Use cookie cutters to make your shapes, placing them onto a baking pan after cut out.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, depending on cookie cutter size and thickness of dough. The edges should have just started to slightly brown, and the cookie should not appear wet & doughy in the middle.
Remove cookies from cookie sheets and let cool on wire racks.
After they're completely cool, cookies may be eaten as is (they're really tasty just like this!), frozen until ready to use, or decorated. See recipe below for my favorite frosting.
Vanilla Butter Frosting
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (aka powdered sugar)
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon milk
Beat sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk until creamy. Add a few extra drops of vanilla and/or milk to reach desired consistency.