The Perfect Sugar Cookie
6 cups (750 grams/1 lb + 10 ounces) sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
2 cups unsalted butter, (1 lb, 454 grams, 16 ounces) softened for about 20 minutes at room temperature
2 cups (400 grams/14 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs (straight from refrigerator)
2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) pure lemon extract
1. In large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
2. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.
3. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla and lemon extract.
Steps to the perfect rolled dough (again, modest, I know):
4. Remove 1/2 of dough from bowl, make a ball, and place on a large piece of plastic wrap on counter.
5. Wrap the sides of wrap over the ball, then press down with the palm of your hand and make a disc about 2" thick. Finish wrapping the disc with the plastic wrap. Repeat with 2nd half of dough.
6. Chill both discs of dough for about 45 minutes.
7. Remove one disc and remove plastic wrap. Place on top of a large piece of parchment paper (I use a silicone rolling mat underneath to ensure it doesn't slip while rolling, but you can even dampen counter so the parchment sticks a bit.), then place 2 wooden dowels on either side of your dough, then another sheet of parchment paper.
8. Roll dough (this will require a bit of elbow grease for the first few minutes until it softens up a bit) so it's flush with dowels--they will ensure that your dough is even thickness.
9. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Slide your parchment paper and dough onto a board, then place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
10. Remove from fridge, and cut your shapes using the cutters of your choice, placing them on a baker's half sheet lined with a Silpat Mat, with 2" clearance around each one and the edge of sheet.
11. Place sheet with cookies into freezer for 15 minutes before baking. Then bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
12. Cool sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes, then gently remove cookies and place on wire racks to finish cooling.
May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. They also freeze well.