Mexican Sugar Cookies (Biscochitos)

Author: 
Serves: 36 to 40 (2½-inch) cookies
 

Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry (sweet or dry)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons anise seed, finely crushed or ground, or 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar mixed with 1½ teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter, shortening, and sugar on medium speed until light. Beat in sherry and egg. Beat in anise. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter-egg mixture to make a medium dough.
  3. Divide dough in half. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until dough has firmed up a little and is not sticky, but is still quite pliable.
  4. On a lightly floured board or pastry cloth, roll each half of dough out ⅛ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters, rerolling scraps once. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.

The Best Sugar Cookies

Author: 
Serves: About 48 (2½-inch) sugar cookies
 

Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Continue beating until combined. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt. Continue mixing, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl as necessary. Dough will be soft. Gather dough in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer, until firm.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease or spray cookie sheets.
  3. Roll out dough to between ⅛ and ¼ inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Arrange on cookie sheets about 1½ inches apart.
  4. Bake cookies in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden on the bottom and still pale on top. Let stand on cookie sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool.

Shining Star Cookies

Shining Star Sugar Cookie recipe
Serves: About 6 dozen small stars
 

Ingredients

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or spray cookie sheets.
  2. Roll out the dough ⅛ inch thick. Sprinkle white edible glitter lightly and evenly over dough. If desired, add a very light sprinkling of blue decorating sugar. Roll the rolling pin lightly over the dough, pressing the sugar into the surface of the dough.
  3. Cut out with a star-shaped cookie cutter (about 3 inches from point to point). Place on prepared cookie sheets at least 1½ inches apart.
  4. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until cookies are just turning pale golden around the edges.
  5. Let cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Serves: 5 to 6 dozen 2½-inch cookies
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract (or vanilla)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour

Instructions
  1. On medium-high speed, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light.
  2. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and orange extracts, and salt until well blended.
  3. Add flour and beat at low speed until flour is thoroughly incorporated. Dough will be soft and sticky.
  4. Divide dough into 2 parts and scrape onto plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight, until firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or spray cookie sheets.
  6. Roll out on a floured board or pastry cloth to ⅛-inch thickness. Cut into shapes as desired. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, depending on size. Or, cut and bake as directed in recipe.