You can’t have a holiday without sugar cookies. They’re the ultimate, most versatile treat. You can frost and dress them up in all sorts of ways to suit any occasion. Here, our base recipe that works in so many ways.
1 c. butter, softened
1½ c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
Ornamental Frosting (optional)
Coarse sugar crystals, silver dragées, holiday decors (optional decorations)
- In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In separate large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in eggs and vanilla until mixed, then beat in flour mixture just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove1 piece of dough from refrigerator. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough until slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. With floured 3-inch to 4-inch cookie cutters, cut dough into as many cookies as possible; reserve trimmings. Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on two ungreased large cookie sheets.
- Bake until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower oven racks halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
- When cookies are cool, prepare Ornamental Frosting, if you like; use along with sugars and candies to decorate cookies. Set cookies aside to allow frosting to dry completely, about 1 hour. Store in tightly covered container (with waxed paper between layers if decorated) at room temperature up to 2 weeks, or in freezer up to 3 months.