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Each year I’m on the prowl for a great sugar cookie recipe to make our annual Christmas sugar cookies. This year, I think I have finally found it! Perfectly tender, perfectly buttery sugary, and nice and crisp.
after years of searching, I think I have both the perfect cookie and icing
Too soft, too hard. Can’t work with the dough. Too tasteless. This has been the problem in past years. So I scour the next book, the next recipe. They are all close, but none worked well.
It seems to go especially wrong after they are decorated. Even if they seemed fine before, once we add the icing, sog city! So I went on the lookout for both. Cookies and Perfect Sugar Cookie Icing. And after our test this Christmas, I think I have found the perfect combination of cookie and icing.
Depending on the heat in the kitchen, the dough can get soft rather quickly, so at the very least keep one of the disks in the refrigerator while you work rolling and cutting out the cookies. As a matter of fact, I cut each disk in half and keep the other half in the refrigerator, working with a half-disk at a time. This keeps the dough pliable, but not too soft to move to the cookie sheet.
We’ll be decorating these later!
Using a handheld or standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla. Mix well.Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, mix or sift together. Add to the butter mixture and mix well. Split the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and using lightly floured hands pat out the dough into two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, better overnight. (Can be made 2 - 3 days in advance.)
Heat the oven to 400°F. Working in batches (leave one disc in the refrigerator while you work the other one); roll the dough out onto a well-floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Keep the dough moving and make sure you have flour under it so it doesn't stick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters, moving the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet (rimmed or not). Place into the upper third of the oven, one tray at a time, and bake 6 - 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on racks. Frost with your favorite frosting. Eat and enjoy!
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