The final stretch! We’ve hit recipe #9 in the 2016 cookie palooza. Have you stocked up on butter and sprinkles? Is your mixer tired of running? Is all the sugar making you see stars?
Yes to all of the above.
Remember when we chatted about sugar cookies yesterday? How they’re fun and wonderful and awesome and festive but sometimes BIG flavor is all we want? Sugar cookies are fabulous, but adding an extra level of flavor changes everything. For the better! Brown butter sugar cookies, anyone?
Today’s sugar cookie recipe is cookie cutter style. We’ll roll the dough out and cut into adorable stars. What makes these stars unique are the flavors mingling inside.
Combine these two powerhouse flavors with shimmering gold sprinkles and edible glitter stars (EDIBLE GLITTER, EVERYONE) plus some white chocolate because why the heck not? and we’ve got a sugar cookie putting many others to shame.
Let’s start with my basic sugar cookie.
I have sugar cookie tips for you!
1) Use maple flavoring– not pure maple syrup. While I typically reach for the latter in my baking, sugar cookie dough is notoriously picky when it comes to add-ins. To get the same amount of flavor that 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of maple flavoring extract has, we’d need a few Tablespoons of the pure syrup. This will radically change your sugar cookie dough as there is now too much liquid. Then we could add more flour to make up for it, but our cookies would be dry. It’s frustrating! To avoid all this, use the flavoring. I love playing around with different extracts to give sugar cookies lots of flavor.
We’re also adding 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Look at the cinnamon swirls! ↓
2) Roll out your sugar cookie dough onto silicone baking mats. So easy. The mats won’t slide around.
3) Chill the rolled out dough. Refrigerating the dough is the most important step and ensures the cookies will hold their shape. After chilling the rolled out dough, you can cut into shapes and re-roll any scraps on the counter. If the dough scraps get too warm as you are re-rolling them, refrigerator until cold again.
Beautiful maple cinnamon stars! (Similar 3-inch star cookie cutter found here on Amazon.)
Back to my tips! Ok so tip #4 is to press the sprinkles down into the cookies before baking. Just use the back of a spoon. This helps the sprinkles stick. After pressing the other sprinkles down, you can add the edible glitter stars. I don’t suggest doing this *before* pressing the others down because the stars will stick to your spoon instead of the cookie.
5) Smell the cookies as they bake. Ok so that’s not really a tip as much as something you’re going to do anyway, but oh my gosh. These cookies. I wish you could smell them through the screen! They easily take home the award for best smelling (lol). But seriously, my hands smelled like pancakes and the cookies smelled and tasted like maple cinnamon rolls.
All is right in the world when cookies remind you of cinnamon rolls.
Last tip. Give them a dunk into white chocolate. You won’t regret this.
Aren’t these so pretty? I’m taking another batch to a holiday party this weekend to show ’em off. Maple cinnamon star cookies, everyone! Enjoy.
- 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon and leveled)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons maple extract1
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- gold sprinkles and/or edible glitter sprinkles
- optional: 8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, maple extract, and vanilla extract then beat on high until fully combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment (or a silicone baking mat, what I prefer!) to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces, with parchment paper between the two, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Chilling is mandatory. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut into star shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
- Before baking, top with sprinkles. Use a spoon to press the sprinkles into the cookies so they stay secure on top.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before dipping into chocolate.
- If using, melt the chopped white chocolate in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each until completely melted. Dip the cookies into the white chocolate and allow chocolate to set completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Make ahead tip: Baked cookies (without chocolate) freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can chill the cookie dough for up to 2 days (step 4). You can also freeze the cookie dough before rolling for up to 3 months. Then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature for about 1 hour. Then roll and continue with the recipe as directed.
- I used McCormick brand imitation maple flavor. Sold in the baking aisle with the flavor extracts and seasonings.
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