Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Recipe: Super-simple vanilla sugar cookies for use with cookie stamps

Sugar cookies - made using cookie stamps from Emma Jane's Bakery
(vintage button and alphabet designs pictured)
Some of you will know that I've just launched my own online store - emmajanesbakery.co.uk, selling cookie stamps which Owen and I have designed and hand finished. My original inspiration for the cookie stamps was my own need, I couldn't find the kind of designs I really wanted out there, so we decided to have a crack at producing our own - a few months later and it's become a huge and exciting part of my business development. An important aspect of this journey was, for me, thorough product testing. I wanted to make sure we were making tools which really work - so everyone who buys a cookie stamp from us can bake perfect beautiful imprinted biscuits, every time. So alongside product development, I worked hard on recipe development too! Each cookie stamp sold will be accompanied by a couple of my own recipes - and a few tips & tricks for success with the cookie stamps we sell at Emma Jane's Bakery.

Of course, each user will have to bear in mind the idiosyncrasies of their kitchens when using these recipes - things like varying oven temperature and inaccurate weighing scales can have a huge impact on results when baking. You'll also want to use actual measures when preparing the ingredients - as in, if a recipe requires 1 teaspoon of an ingredient, you'll need to use a measuring spoon, as regular every-day teaspoons can actually really vary in size.

This is my basic vanilla sugar cookie recipe - adapted and tweaked many a time for the best results. It makes approximately 40 vanilla flavoured sugar-cookies, great on their own, they are also the perfect base for icing. These cookies can be made in advance and frozen (un-iced) for up to a month before use.

100g butter (softened)
100g caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
1tsp vanilla extract
2tbs milk
275g plain flour


1) Line three baking trays with lightly oiled baking paper. 

2) Cream the butter and sugar together.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk up the egg a little - add the vanilla extract and milk. Gradually add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar, mixing well to combine.

4) Add the plain flour, mix well to form into a dough - this will work best if you start with a spoon and finish with your hands (get messy). 

5) Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of approximately 4-5mm.  To help prevent sticking, dust the stamp with flour & tap the excess off. Stamp the dough, then cut out the biscuits and arrange them, evenly spaced, on the baking trays.

6) Transfer the baking trays to the fridge to chill for one hour.

7) Pre-heat the oven to 200C, (190C fan, gas mark 6), bake for 15-18 minutes, until just turning golden at the edges.

8) Arrange on a wire rack to cool.

See the whole range of cookie stamps over at Emma Jane's Bakery - and if you try this recipe, please let me know what you think!

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