I have no idea if this recipe truly originates from Dolly, but if it did, thank you Dolly! Not only are you a super cool chick, but you gave me my go-to recipe for sugar cookies for going on probably 10 years now.
I happened across this fab recipe while googling - heck, maybe I was using Netscape (remember when Netscape was a search engine and not a defunct ISP? Or am I alone?!) at that time. Anyway, I searched for a sugar cookie recipe, and found this one. Intrigued, I tried it out.
It was perfect.
Since then, when I make sugar cookies, this is the only recipe I use. I'm convinced there is no better. The taste (with just a little bit of lemon zest) is out of this world. The dough rolls and keeps its shape when cooking beautifully. And they taste amazing. Did I mention they're delicious? (The dough is yummy, too).
Last year, my guy, his buddy, and I were snowed in for days. It was a weird, wonderful, memorable time - I'd never seen anything like it in all my years in Seattle.
One day, we spent an entire afternoon frosting sugar cookies and drinking hot buttered rum. The guys totally got into it - cabin fever, I guess - and we had a blast. They may have gotten a little creative with the gingerbread shapes (again: cabin fever!) - please skip past the top right part of the following photo if your sensibilities are, well... sensitive. I added some "censored" bars just to be extra safe.
The baby blue Beetle convertible with a black top is a testament to the kind of fun car I would love to have. Maybe someday.
Here's another view:
I was very proud of my Bumble (even though the chest and belly button action are a bit much) and my attempt at the bundled up little brother from A Christmas Story (shame on me, I forgot the scarf!). My guy made a fishbowl with Swedish Fish. So creative!
And when I broke one of the poor cars while frosting it, I just borrowed a tree and a snowman and made a little scene out of several cookies.
Gotta go with the flow!
This year, my Christmas sugar cookies are frosty-looking snowflakes shaped with round- and flower-shaped cookie cutters. I frosted them various shades of blue and dusted them with sparkly sugar sprinkles.
I also used the recipe as a base for Lemon Sandwich Cookies, which are also terrific - watch for that story tomorrow!
Dolly Parton's Sugar Cookies
- 3 cups sifted flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened (yep, that's four cubes. It's the holidays, it's okay!)
- 2 egg yolks
- The zest of one medium lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- Cream sugar and butter together in a large bowl, beating until well incorporated.
- Add the egg yolks and lemon zest. Beat until well mixed.
- Sift the flour over the wet ingredients, and mix just until combined.
- Knead together very gently until it forms enough of a ball to plop onto a piece of Saran Wrap. Work the dough just enough to get it to stick together, but be careful not to overdo it. Honestly, I get so paranoid about overworking the dough that I pile the crumbs onto the Saran Wrap, fold it up around the mound, and press it together that way.
Sometimes, if you're lucky, an alert dog will be standing by to help clean the floor should an errant crumb drop.
- Wrap the dough.
- Chill dough for three hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out dough - I go as thin as 1/8 inch, but I prefer about 1/4 inch thick - and cut into shapes, adding additional flour as necessary to avoid sticking.
- Place cookie shapes on a cookie sheet (no need to grease) and bake for about 8 minutes, just until the cookies start to turn a tinge of beige.
Please don't worry, these cookies did not shape shift! I just chose to photograph different batches to demonstrate before and after for some silly reason. I blame all the dough I was nibbling on. Sugar high.
- Let cool slightly then move to wire rack to cool completely.
- Eat plain or frost! (My very favorite sugar cookie icing recipe is below.)
Sugar Cookie IcingThis is a terrific sugar cookie icing recipe. It's easy to frost the cookies with it, and it hardens nicely for easy storage and travel.
- 1/2 cup powdered (or confectioners) sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Food coloring (optional)
Mix all ingredients well and use immediately. If the frosting is too thick, add more corn syrup until you get your desired consistency. If it's too thin, use more powdered sugar.
If you're adding sprinkles or Swedish Fish or you name it, add them right away, before the frosting hardens.
And, most of all, enjoy!