I love sugar cookies, but I don't love the way many of the recipes I've used in the past require you to refrigerate the dough for an hour beforehand. (I want instant cookies!) I also love sugar cookies that are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, which is also a challenge, since they usually turn out one way or the other. This recipe, adapted slightly from Martha Stewart's Living magazine, manages both challenges, allowing you to bake up a batch of soft/crisp sugar cookies from scratch in less than thirty minutes. No refrigeration required.
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 large eggs
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt. In a mixer, blend butter and sugar until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add eggs & vanilla. Lower speed, add flour mixture until well mixed.
Place parchment paper on cookie sheets, making a tablespoon or so of dough, roll into a ball, then flatten. Sprinkle with sugar, brush with water using a pastry brush, then sprinkle with sugar again.
Bake until golden, 14-16 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets on top of wire racks for 5 minutes, then take off sheets and cool on wire racks.