This is a NON-refrigerated dough. When I make cookies, I like to make them right away, not wait for my dough to chill, then come back to partial room temp. Here's our super-secret family recipe.
Gram's Sugar Cookies
1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1 tsp butter flavoring
Cream together margarine & sugar, then add the egg and butter flavoring.
Mix together 2 cups of the flour and the baking powder, then add them in slowly to the sugar mixture. I take it off the mixer and mix in another 3/4 cup of flour by hand. If you're keeping track, we have used 2 and 3/4 cups of the flour so far. Keep the other 1/4 cup set aside. We'll work that in as we roll out the dough. Putting in the entire 3 cups, plus using more as you roll it out can over-flour your cookies and make them dry.
Next, you want to roll out your cookies. My mom taught me this neat trick for rolling out your dough so that it is a consistent thickness. Take a dowel rod and cut it in half so you have two dowel rods approx the same length. I use a 5/16" dowel rod. Tape one dowel rod to the counter. Place your rolling pin on top of it so you can see how far apart you want your second one to be. Once you have figured that out, tape down the second dowel rod.
Of course, if you have rolling pin bands, this isn't necessary, but I don't have any, so this is my method. :)
Flour your working surface with part of the 1/4 cup of flour that we held out. Be sure to give your rolling pin a little flour too. Take 1/4 to 1/3 of your dough and roll it out. Keep the edges of your rolling pin on the dowel rods and all of your cookies will be the same thickness.
Take your favorite cookie cutters and start cutting out as many shapes/sizes as you want.
With the "extras" you have leftover, work it back into the dough instead of continuing to roll it out over and over until it's all gone, then starting with a new part of the dough to roll out. If you keep working the same dough into more and more flour, it will make your cookies hard.
Once you have your baking sheets filled up, bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. At the 7 minute mark, check one of the cookies and just as it is starting to get very, very, very lightly brown, take the cookies out of the oven and immediately move them onto a cooling rack. Keep in mind, if you leave your cookies on the baking sheet, they will continue to cook, so get them off ASAP.
Don't they look pretty? This is how my husband likes his cookies. I think there might be something wrong with him...he doesn't like icing!
Use whatever icing recipe floats your boat. I'm a buttercream fan, so that's what I used on these.
Happy Valentine's Day!
...9 days early. :)
Linking up at Tatertots & Jello.