I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I’ll go ahead and say it again: I have a mild obsession with sugar cookies.
I use the term ‘mild’ rather loosely. The reality is, I adore them. I think they’re the best dessert that there is. I could eat them every day (I don’t, but I could). I’ve shared more than a few recipes for them on the blog already. I do have my favorites, but there’s honestly something about each one that makes them different and delicious in their own way.
Take it from someone well practiced in eating them: all sugar cookies aren’t created equal. They don’t all come out the same way. Part of this comes down to personal preference. Part of it comes down to the ingredients. Some people are on Team Crispy Sugar Cookies. Others (like me) are on Team Soft Sugar Cookies. Some prefer them unfrosted/un-iced and others won’t take them any other way.
While I do like a good hardened glaze, I will say that I’ve found that a truly good sugar cookie won’t need it. It just won’t. The cookie texture itself will be soft enough to where it doesn’t need the moisture from frosting or glaze. The flavor of vanilla, almond or citrus will be strong enough to not need the added sugar in a frosting or glaze to make it sweet enough to taste like something besides flour.
(And you would be surprised at how often that happens. Like I said: they ain’t all created equal.)
Typically I only try new sugar cookies recipes if there’s something about them that appeals to me. I was flipping through Food Network Magazine one day and I saw this one. It appealed to me, not just because the cookies were pretty, but because they included an ingredient that I had never used in a cookie dough before: honey.
I’ve used honey before in gingerbread. It functions as both a sweetener and a way to keep the final product moist. Because I liked the results with gingerbread, I thought it would be worthwhile to see how it would affect sugar cookies, which are typically sweetened with just…sugar. These do have sugar too, but they also have about 1/4 cup of honey.
Because it’s autumn, I decided to use a pumpkin cookie cutter for these. They hold their shape very well so just about any cookie cutter you wanted to use will work great.
I really, really liked how they turned out. The honey gives them a special sweetness and flavor–you can definitely tell the difference between this and regular sugar cookies. They’re soft and slightly chewy. They’re delicious. Have a good weekend, everyone.
Honey Sugar Cookies
Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Magazine
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In the bowl of a standing mixer or using a handheld one, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add the honey and egg, mixing just until combined and yellow disappears. Add the vanilla.
In a small bowl combine the flour with baking powder and the salt, stirring together with a fork. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 1 cup increments, mixing just until combined.
Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll dough out on a clean and floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Dip your cookie cutter into powdered sugar, then tap to remove excess and transfer to cookie sheets. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the dough.*
Freeze cut out cookies for 10-20 minutes.
Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little bit more sugar. Bake in the oven on the middle rack until just golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Allow to sit on the pan for about 60 seconds before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
(Note: no one oven is the same, & different baking sheets bake cookies differently. Keeping this in mind, I will ALWAYS test bake one cookie before baking entire sheets of the whole batch, just to get a good idea of how long they should be in the oven and if I need to adjust the way I’ve cut, rolled them out, etc. I highly recommend that you do the same.)