Holiday Baking with Goodwill

This post is sponsored by Goodwill, but as always all opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting brands the make Marvelous in the Midwest possible!

Holiday Baking

With Christmas just around the corner, I’ve started to dive in and do some holiday baking! I love making sweet treats and especially around the holidays because everything is just so much more festive and exciting! Last week, I headed over to my local Goodwill store to pick up some baking essentials & holiday decor.  Goodwill is a great place to shop for Holiday decor because of all the unique and affordable offerings.  I’ve found some amazing pieces that I continue to use year over year that probably cost 1/4 of the original retail price.  While shopping, I found this adorable gingerbread spatula and gingerbread cookie cut out plus tons of Christmas tree ornaments (see my Instagram page for the finished tree!)  I’m not the biggest fan of gingerbread cookies, so I decided to go with a classic sugar cookie with green frosting and sprinkles instead… still cute right?!

I’ve made sugar cookies probably dozens and dozens of times in my life and have always struggled with finding the best recipe and making sure the cookies stayed soft and chewy, but I think I finally found the solution! (see full recipe at the end)

Tips for making better Sugar Cookies:

1. Use softened butter. The butter should be starting to soften but still be slightly cool to the touch

2. Beat the butter & sugar together (should take about 3-5 minutes: I like to use the Kitchenaid mixer to do this step) Keep beating until it’s no longer grainy feeling when you rub it between your fingertips.

3. Add eggs one at a time.

4. Always make sure you’re measuring the flour correctly- this can mess up the whole recipe and cause the cookies to be too dry. Make sure to add the flour & other dry ingredients in batches so that it gets evenly distributed throughout the batter.

5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper to avoid the bottoms burning and for easy cleanup!

6. Space cookies evenly on the baking sheet. Usually, I will do about 2 inches in between each cookie to make sure they don’t condense while baking.

7. Rotate the pan during the baking time as all ovens have “hot spots” and this will help to make sure each section is getting baked evenly.

8. Let cookies rest for 2-3 minutes before transferring them on to the cooling rack. I’ve had multiple cookies break in transit if they’re not fully set!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature

3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature*

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt*

 

Directions:

1. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed and smooth – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combined- about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. 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.

3. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

4. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The number of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.

5. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.   Makes about 16 cookies.

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