Electric mixer (n.) A machine that mixes food together by a motor.
Beat (v.) To stir or mix energetically.
Dough (n.) A mass of flour combined with water or milk that will become bread, cake, cookies, etc.
Baking sheets (n.) Flat squares of metal used to bake food in the oven. Parchment paper is the paper you use to prevent the cookies from sticking to the baking sheets.
Roll out (verb phrase) To make flat and smooth; sometimes with a kitchen tool called a rolling pin.
1 3/4 cups (230 grams) flour (harina)
1/8 teaspoon salt (sal)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (polvo de hornear)
1/2 cup (113 grams) butter (mantequilla), at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) white sugar (azúcar blanco)
1 large egg (un huevo)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (extracto de vanilla)
In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder by hand.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and beat until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough in two equal parts and cover in plastic wrap. Put in the refridgerator for about one hour.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove some dough from the refrigerator and, on a flat surface covered with some flour, roll out the dough until it is 1/4 inch (1 cm). Cut out shapes with a small knife or cookie cutter and place cookies on the baking sheet.
Put the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. This prevents the cookies from losing their shape while baking.
Then, bake the cookies in the oven for about 10 minutes or until they begin to become brown around the edges.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool. Decorate with icing and sprinkles, if you want. Be sure to let the icing dry completely before storing the cookies in a container. (This may take several hours.)
Iced cookies can be kept several days in a container.
Makes about 20 cookies.
Reading Recipes in English:
Recipes in English are very similar to recipes in Spanish. First, there is a list of ingredients. Measurements are in cups, instead of grams or liters. You can find a table of conversions on this blog: http://panyvarios.blogspot.com/2007/09/tabla-de-conversin-de-cups-gramos.html.
The ingredients are usually listed in the order that they appear in the recipe. For example, the first ingredients listed for the sugar cookies are flour, baking powder and salt, because the first step of the recipe is to mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
Then, there is the "preparation" section, or the recipe itself. English recipes are written in the imperative, or with commands. Every verb is a command to the reader, for example, "decorate cookies as desired."
A key to cooking is to read the entire recipe carefully before you begin (and before you shop for the ingredients!). For example, in this recipe, the cookie dough must sit in the refridgerator for 1 hour. If you planned on making and eating the cookies in less time than that, then you would have a problem!
Most recipes in English include extra information at the end of the recipe, such as how to store the food after it's made and how much food the recipe makes.
If you want to decorate your sugar cookies like Americans do at holidays, make this recipe below for Decorative Icing, and use it to decorate the cookies. Remember to let the cookies cool down before you try to decorate them!
Valentine's Day Cookies
2 cups (230 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 cup (57 grams) butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milkPreparation:
In an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is smooth. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on a slow speed, beat in the sugar. Add the milk and beat on a fast speed until the icing is thick and smooth.