Recipe of the Month – The Best Cutout Sugar Cookies

img_5490As a child, I remember baking Christmas sugar cookies which my brother and I would then decorate. I have done the same with my own kids. We do Halloween and Christmas cookies and sometimes even Valentine’s Day cookies. For years, I used the rolled sugar cookie recipe in a cookbook my grandmother gave me. The cookies were okay and frosted well so I never took the time to look for a better recipe until this past Christmas. A search on Pinterest turned up this recipe for the Just a Taste blog. We all liked the cookies and these will now be our go-to Sugar Cookie recipe. I have included the frosting recipe that we always use too.

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 t. vanilla extract

Also – assorted cookie cutters, frosting and sprinkles

Directions 

In a bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the butter (let it sit out to soften first) until smooth. Add sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the vanilla.

With mixer off, add flour, salt and baking powder. Beat just until combined. Remove dough and shape into a 6-inch wide disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge and cut off a piece. (I did mine in fourths.) Roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper until about 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters and cut your desired shapes. Place them on the cookie sheets and bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until pale golden. Transfer to rack to cool completely.

When in doubt, remove the cookies from the oven just prior to them turning golden. They will crisp slightly as they cool and this way they will remain soft. If like your cookies crisp, bake them the full time.

Continue with the rest of the dough. Left over scraps can be re-rolled. I found that letting the dough sit out for a few minutes softened it up and made rolling easier (after 2 1/2 hours of chilling). If you chill your dough overnight, you mostly likely will need to let the dough soften.

Yield: about 4 dozen (depends on thickness of cookies and size of cutters)

Homemade frosting for sugar cookies

Ingredients

6 T. butter or margarine, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

2 t. vanilla

2-3 T. milk

Directions

Mix butter, sugar, vanilla and 2 T. of milk until smooth. Add more milk to reach desired consistency.

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