To make your sugar cookies memorable, add flavor and colors. You can also add small inclusions like mini chips or chopped nuts. By simply adding color to the frosting and maybe cutting them into interesting shapes, you make the cookies visually stimulating. Add a burst of flavor and you’ve got legendary good-tasting cookies.
How to Add Flavor and Inclusions to Your Sugar Cookies
You can add flavor to your sugar cookie dough, but it’s more effective to add the flavor to your frosting as well. In our flavored sugar cookie mixes, we add flavor to both but we depend on the frosting to deliver most of the taste. In thin cookies in a 350-degree oven, the flavor evaporates, driving off much of the taste. You have no flavor lost in the frosting.
You can also add baking chips to the cookie dough or chopped nuts. Mini baking chips and finely chopped nuts work best since they don’t get in the way of thinly rolling the dough. As with all sugar cookies, don’t beat them too much or the chips will start to come apart. We make flavored sugar cookies with cinnamon chips, chocolate chips, plus raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry chips.
The Thin Line Between Pleasant and Bitter with Flavors
A word about flavor—plenty is great but too much is a disaster. Our taste buds revel in a burst of flavor and revolt at too much. When you cross that line, it goes from pleasant to bitter. The nice thing about adding flavor to the frosting is that you can add a little at a time until you get it right.
If you do cross the line, you can add more powdered sugar and liquid to dilute the flavoring. Interestingly if you add the bitter frosting to the cookies, chances are, it won’t taste bitter because the cookie dilutes the frosting—but if you taste the frosting alone, it’s still bitter.
Adding Color to Your Sugar Cookie Dough
You can add color to the dough too, not just the frosting. Because you’re coloring a whole bowl full of opaque dough, not just a cup or two of frosting, it takes quite a bit of color.
That’s not a problem with food color gels because they are up to thirteen times as concentrated as liquids. If you use Ameri-color food color gels, it would take just a couple drops to get your dough to the right color.
Is it Better to Make Sugar Cookies from Scratch or a Mix?
You can do either—scratch or a mix. It really depends on the quality of the recipe or mixes. If you buy sugar cookie mixes from us, the flavors and colors will already be worked out and the formulation proven. (My favorite sugar cookies are fudgy chocolate sugar cookies.) If you buy a sugar cookie mix from the grocery store, you’ll need to add your own flavor, color, and inclusions.
Sugar Cookies: Fun for the Whole Family
Making sugar cookies should be fun for the whole family. Learn how to paint your sugar cookies, decorate the edges, and thirteen ways to make them truly extraordinary. Just tell us where to send it.
(Updated from May 12, 2014)