The Christmas season is an amazing time for decorated cookies – everyone loves them. But you want to ensure their shape stays intact – you don’t want a gingerbread man to look like a blob! After a lot of trial and error, I found one of the best ways to achieve that is with good quality butter. I started noticing that whenever I use Lactantia’s new unsalted European style butter, my results are simply better. In addition to the cookies not spreading, also using Lactantia’s maple flavoured butter enhances the taste of sugar cookies. So today I’m sharing with you my new holiday cookie favorite, maple sugar cookies!
If you’ve had some experience with baking, you’ll know that it can be finicky… Measurements must be accurate, oven temperature is important, the quality of ingredients affect the outcome, even the humidity in the air makes a difference! Without the right recipe, ingredients and tips, new bakers can be tempted to throw in towel or think they just don’t have what it takes to bake. It’s comforting to know that with a little bit of knowledge, a good recipe and especially, good ingredients, it really is possible to have impressive results.
The ingredient which makes the most difference in cut-out cookies is your butter. With higher moisture content butter (lower butterfat %), when the cookies are baked, they spread more. I love using Lactantia European butter because I have rich, delicious results taste-wise, and the Eurpoean butter has 2% more butterfat content than regular butter, which helps make the problem of spreading cookies a non-issue for me. For a cookie decorator, this is a major stress reliever! If a cookie I’m making is supposed to look like a snowman and then spreads so much that it just looks like a blob, I’m sure you can imagine how disappointing the experience becomes.
I’m excited to share that my Maple Sugar cookie recipe is featured on Chatelaine.com, where I share my butter secrets! This is a sponsored post, but I already have been using Lactantia butter for as long as I can remember. It’s a blessing to work with a company I genuinely respect, to do what I love to do – share my tips and secrets here with you. You need to know that I only work with companies I love and/or with products I already used prior to being contacted.
If you’d like to make these, you’ll need:
Cookie Recipe and Cookie Cutters
You can find the maple sugar cookie recipe below.
What you’ll need (these are affiliate links):
- Piping Tips – PME #1, PME #1.5, PME #2
- Piping Bags
- Gel paste colors
- Scribe Tool or Toothpicks
This video on outlining and flooding is a good place to start if you’re new to decorating cookies with royal icing. These cookie decorating basics YouTube videos may also be helpful to get you started.
All cookies were flooded with a base of royal icing and then either left plain or another layer was piped to try and make the mitts and hats look like cable knit. Essentially I piped rows of hearts with lines in between, using tip #1.5. For the brim of some hats and mitts and the hat pom poms, sanding sugar was added to wet icing. If you have any questions or would like me to do a video tutorial, please let me know in the comment section.
- Room temperature butter emulsifies more easily into dry ingredients. For baking cookies, your butter should be soft enough that you can make an impression with your finger.
- Check out these other tips to watch out for regarding cookies spreading when baked
- Out of the pound of butter for this recipe (It makes a lot of cookies!), you can substitute half with maple butter if you want even more of a maple flavour.
- When cutting shapes out, chill your dough if it gets too soft work with.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a line below in the comment section or on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.
and nibbling on these!
- 1 1/2 cups Lactantia European unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Lactantia Maple Flavoured Butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbs vanilla extract
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Cream the butters and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated - for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more. Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you'd like a light and fluffy cookie, that's ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you'd like the cookie to hold its shape.
- Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.
- Add liquid vanilla extract. Stir briefly.
- Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour and salt). Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won't escape. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment and pulls away from the sides of the bowl it's ready. If you notice your dough is still sticky, add 1/4 cup of flour at a time until, when pinched between two fingers, the dough is soft but not sticky to the touch. (The varying amount of flour depends on the humidity in your environment etc.).
- Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. I often chill mine in the fridge overnight as I usually need to time-wise.
- Cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
- Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
- Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
- Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!
If you'd like a more intense maple flavour, use 1 cup of Lactantia European butter and 1 cup of Lactantia Maple Flavoured butter.
Room temperature butter emulsifies more easily into dry ingredients. For baking cookies, your butter should be soft enough that you can make an impression with your finger.
When cutting shapes out, chill your dough if it gets too soft work with.
Read these additional tips here on stopping dough from spreading.