08 August 2011

Alton Brown's Sugar Cookies

I LOVE sugar cookies, but one thing I love more than eating them is decorating them. It brings out the painter in me. I have always loved baking, decorating & eating them since I was a little girl. I have passed this tradition down to my 3 daughters and have fond memories of holiday baking.

One of the things I love most about Laura, Sarah & Kelly is their quirky sense of humor. Laura, she is the one that always insists on using the Texas cookie cutter to make at least one cookie no matter what the holiday. Sarah, her Christmas cookies border on Tim Burton's movie, "The Nightmare before Christmas", no matter what the holiday. Kelly made a cookie shaped like the ring from "Lord of the Rings". She looked at her book to copy the elven language onto a gold frosted oval shape using thinned black icing. Wait till she finds out that they make markers with edible ink!! I really wish I had a picture of that cookie, she wouldn't let us eat it. I think it eventually found its way to the landfill. Here is a picture of her inspiration: 

This spring I had fun creating cookies for my niece Melissa's baby shower. Searching for ideas on the internet is what introduced me to the world of blogging. I had no idea there were so many talented women posting about the most amazing things in the blogosphere. Here are some pictures of the cookies I made for the shower . . .

The onesie cookie cutter was my favorite!

The 2 hands represented the new parents, Blake & Melissa

Our "baby" graduated in May with her Masters in Statistics from Texas A&M. Mark & I are so very proud of Kelly's accomplishments. Mark is an A&M graduate, I on the other hand bleed burnt orange. For those outside the state of Texas ... this means The University of Texas, of which I am a graduate. It was mentally difficult (wink, wink), but I did manage to decorate some special cookies for the occasion.

 I'm really happy with the way the A&M mascot, Reveille turned out.
The purple flowers, well that is Kelly's favorite color.
The "S" mortarboards were for her friend & fellow graduate, Shira.  
Sadly though, the cookies got a bit messed up during transportation.

Kelly did get her Masters in Statistics ...
at the top is a mathematical symbol that means "summation, or sum"
So, these are SUM (some) Cookies!!

Our Proud Graduate!!

I have used several different recipes over the years - from friends, the back of a cookie cutter package, even Martha Stewart. The one that always gets rave reviews and is my favorite hands down is from Alton Brown from the Food Network. One of his best tips is to roll out the sugar cookies with a dusting of powdered sugar instead of flour. Here is his recipe:

Alton Brown's Sugar Cookies


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough


  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color.
  • Add egg and milk and beat to combine.
  • Put the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill.
  • Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time.
  • Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to wire rack for complete cooling.
  • Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
This yields about 3 dozen, 2-1/2" cookies. I'm still experimenting on my icing, but Haniela's blog has a great tutorial for royal icing.

Here are the links to some of my favorite cookie decorating blogs along with Haniela's: The University of Cookie, The Painted Cookie, Jimemmajack Cookies, Bake at 350, The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle, Sweetopia
If you spend even a few minutes browsing some of their pictures you will be astonished!!

I hope you try this recipe and that you love it as much as my family and friends do!


  1. I love Alton Brown,he has the best recipes for everything, have you tried his soft pretzels they are the best.
    Beautiful cookies! Love the display, so happy and really pretty.

    1. Thanks Haniela! WOW!! This means a lot to me because I've been a follower of your blog and you do the most AMAZING things! It's kind of like if I were a novice figure skater and Michelle Kwan said she liked my skating!

      I have not tried his soft pretzels, but after looking at your latest post I am certainly going to give them a try!!


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