The holidays are great, but can be hectic. Shopping, parties, pot lucks, wrapping gifts, it can be overwhelming. That's why I like to make things ahead of time, if at all possible. I'm hosting two separate parties this year. That's a lot of prep. I'm managing it all by doing whatever I can early so that the day of the party runs smoother. One example is a cookie platter. I like to make a variety of cookies to set out but that can be a lot of work. So, when I get a free day, I make some dough, divide it up and freeze it. Then, all I have to do is place and bake.
MAKE AHEAD SUGAR COOKIES
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Cream the softened butter and sugar together well (that just means use a mixer on medium to high speed to beat them together until no longer gritty).
Add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.
Stir in the flour until fully incorporated but don't over mix or the cookies will be tough.
Roll pieces into small balls and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet (I like to use a small scoop so that the cookies are uniform in size).
Once the cookie sheet is full, place in the freezer for 45 minutes. This lets the cookies freeze individually, so they won't clump together in the freezer bag. (But don't leave them in the freezer unwrapped too long or they can get freezer burnt).
Next, place them into a labelled freezer bag and return to the freezer. Now they are ready and waiting when you need them.
TO BAKE THEM:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet (I like to line the cookie sheet with parchment paper to ensure they don't stick).
You can either make a crisscross pattern with a fork dipped in sugar or flatten the dough balls with a glass dipped in sugar.
You can add sprinkles or colored sugars before baking.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Don't over bake them!
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
These are crispy on the bottom, fluffy on the inside, buttery and sweet, but not too sweet. Everything a cookie should be! Perfect with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee!
As you can see these are easy and convenient to make ahead. Plus, they are yummy! Simple sugar cookie goodness, Make these ahead and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!