Nothing says holiday cookie quite like a rich sugar cookie in a festive holiday shape — bell, angel, Santa, to name a few — and then frosted with a vanilla icing and decorated with colored sugar or sprinkles.
Meggie Baker, calendar clerk, advises, "The recipe doesn't mention, but if you want perfect lines and sugar cookies that don't spread after you cut them, pop them on the cookie sheet and then into the fridge for a few minutes before going into the oven. And resist over baking: Look for a lovely golden brown on the bottoms and just barely kissing the edges of your cookies."
(Recipe adapted from Alton Brown)
- 3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk
- Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
- Vanilla buttercream frosting (Recipe below)
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine.
- With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar.
- Roll out dough to 1/4-1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes.
- Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges.
- Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet, then move to cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Once cool, frost and decorate as desired.
VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- to 2 tablespoons milk
- In a medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed.
- Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
- Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable.
- If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time.
- If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.
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