It’s been a tradition since I was a child to make and decorate sugar cookies. I still remember my mother making cookie dough and calling me and my four sisters in, one at a time, to roll out our dough and cut out sugar cookies. After everyone had cut out cookies, we gathered around the kitchen table to decorate them. I carry that tradition on with my own children.
They roll and cut and decorate. I taught them to fit as many cookie cutters as possible on the rolled out dough before pressing them in. That way they reduce the number of times they re-roll the dough. The more you roll, the tougher your cookies get.
When they were really young, my kids threw a whole lot of sprinkles on their cookies. Now that they are a little older, they put a whole lot of sprinkles on their cookies in a planned, artistic manner. You could frost these cookies too, but I prefer to set out a variety of sprinkles, dragees, crushed peppermint, and red hots or other small candies. My children egg wash their cookies to help the sprinkles stick. Then into the oven and done.
A friend passed on this recipe for Sugar Cookies. It is a William Sonoma recipe and I have successfully been using it for about 10 years now. The cookies are perfectly sweetened and since I enjoy eating them minus the sprinkles, I always have my kids leave a few bare. Happy decorating.
Makes about about forty 3″ cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (6oz)
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (13 1/2 oz)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. (I often skip this step and whisk ingredients together. Works just fine.)
3. Add flour to butter mixture in 2 batches and mix just until combined. Divide dough in half, flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for about 1 hour. (I usually make the dough one day and bake the next.)
4. Preheat oven to 325F. Roll dough between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thickness. Cut out cookies. Bake until barely golden, about 10 minutes.