Secret Recipe

Decorated Sugar Cookies

Maura Mumball Lane

Speedo and Mad Men inspired cookies – Maura Lane photographer

I learned to bake and decorate cookies from Twitter. I found a community of bakers, corporate deserters and lovers of sugar flour and butter. They gave me encouragement guidance and compassionate critique. The recipe is simple but like all baking, exact measurement and timing result in quality eats. Think of sugar cookies as a blank canvas. Don’t worry about cutters. You can free-form cut using paper guides. Icing colors, piping bags, and most cookie making tools can be found at Michaels Craft Stores. For more inspiration follow @THEToughcookie on Twitter.

4 cups flour

1 t baking powder

½ t salt

2 sticks unsalted butter

2 large eggs

2 cups sugar

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat butter, sugar and eggs with a hand mixer for 3 minutes. Slowly add in whisked dry ingredients. Turn out dough on counter, and separate in half. Flatten the dough and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough on floured surface to ¼ inch thick. Cut cookies to desired shape and transfer to baking sheets. Chill filled sheets in freezer for 15 minutes. Bake for 15-18 minutes, switching sheet positions halfway through baking. Cool on wire racks and decorate with royal icing.