It was SO nice out today. Into the 60s! I got to turn the heat off and open the windows. That’s a pretty big deal this time of year in Wisconsin. Tomorrow it will be back down to 40, so today we took advantage. Got outside for a walk and some yard play, straightened the garage, a little bit of yard work…good things all around.
This week I’ve ended up with one less child than usual, so we had a little more time to get involved in baking. So while Bug was napping, Batman and rose helped me play around with cookies.
We decided to play around a bit today and jazz up our normal sugar cookies (adapted from here). Something that seemed festive for spring and Easter, without the mess that is preschoolers and sprinkles. The result? Rainbow layered sugar cookies.
They were delicious. Buttery and sweet without being overwhelmingly so. Perfectly vanilla and soft. Even without decorating, this is my FAVORITE way to make sugar cookies. So if you’re looking for plain old sugar cookies to decorate how you’d like, STILL USE THIS RECIPE! Just skip the food coloring and go right to the rolling and chilling! You’ll love it.
I doubled my normal recipe to make it possible to get 3 layers and enough cookies. This was almost too much for my KitchenAid mixer (another reason to get the bigger one!). If you think you will have this issue, or if you just want a smaller batch, simply half the recipe and combine the dough afterwards.
After I exhausted all of my cutouts, I was left with a lot of remaining dough. I carefully rolled it into a ball and rolled it out, creating a cool swirly tie dye effect for the remaining cutout cookies. This I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of before kids and friends devoured them. Just trust me- they were cute.
Fun, right? Here’s what we did:
Rainbow Layered Sugar Cookies
4 sticks salted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
Cream together butter and sugar in stand mixer until smooth*.
Add in eggs and vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking powder.
Slowly pour flour mixture into stand mixer with your wet ingredients; blending until completely incorporated.
Divide dough into three separate bowls. In each bowl, knead cookie dough with food coloring of your choice (in this case: pink, yellow, and blue).
Once color is mixed, roll each dough out between sheets of parchment paper (this prevents sticking without needing to add flour) to desired thickness.
Once rolled, stack your dough colors in desired order. This can be achieved by using the parchment paper to flip one sheet onto another. Place stacked dough on a cookie sheet and transfer to fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pull out dough and use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for approx 9-12 minutes, depending on thickness of cookies (mine were PERFECT at 12).
Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Store in airtight container.
*You may half the recipe and make in 2 batches if too large for your mixer.