Since I live at over 5600 feet above sea level, all baked goods need to be adjusted for the altitude. If you don’t, then you will have cookies that spread out and are flat, and cakes that overflow their pan and then sink. Counterintuitively, the trick is usually in adjusting the amount of leavening–to less than the recipe calls for! I have a really good cookbook, that I have had for quite some time called Pie In The Sky by Susan Purdy. This is the sugar cookie recipe that I always use and it is from that cookbook.
High Altitude Sugar Cookies
12 Tbsp. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened ( I hardly ever use unsalted butter)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (I almost always use almond)
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Pre-heat oven to 350º. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the baking powder and salt. Add the flour and mix until well incorporated. Form into a ball. (if too sticky ad 1-2 Tbsp. more of flour.)
Work with about one-third of the dough at a time and keep the rest refrigerated. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Place on greased baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes or until they are slightly golden around the edge. Cool completely on wire racks and then decorate.
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 Tbsp. cream of evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla or flavoring of choice
1/4 tsp salt
With an electric mixer whip the butter until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the cream or evaporated milk and mix until fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt.