Making sugar cookies for Christmas has been a tradition in my family since long before I was born. The recipe I use was handed down from my grandmother, and possibly from her grandmother before her. The picture in this post is of me making cookies with my mom, I believe sometime around 1980. Don’t you love the blue flower wallpaper and the yellow trim around the window? All of the cabinets were painted yellow as well.
When I got married, one of my wedding presents was my mom’s Kitchenaid mixer, which was a present she had received for her wedding. It’s more than forty-five years old and still going strong. My mother passed away in 2013, so it’s even more special to me to use her mixer to make the cookies with my kids.
So, let’s get to the cookies. I know what you’re thinking. Doesn’t everybody make sugar cookies? What’s the big deal? Well, I happen to have the recipe for the World’s Best Sugar Cookies.
2 ½ cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
½ tsp vanilla
Lemon juice to taste
2-4 Tbsp milk
Assorted candies, sprinkles, and colored sugar for decorating.
Various cookie cutters.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
Use a mixer to cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Add enough of the milk to moisten the dough and make it soft, but not wet.
Place dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours (preferably overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheets.
Remove dough; let sit 10-15 minutes. Work dough with hands, adding flour as needed to soften. Roll out 1/4 inch thick, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer to prepared baking sheets. Re-roll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake until just cooked, 7-8 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Decorate as desired.
1 cup of powdered sugar
milk; add as needed to reach desired consistency
add 2 drops of food coloring (I like to make a different of color frosting for each child to avoid arguments)
*Warning! The decorating stage can get very messy. And sticky. I recommend putting down a plastic tablecloth on whatever surface you use to decorate the cookies to make clean up easier.
**You may want to make yourself an adult drink before you start the decorating phase.
There you have it. If you follow these directions carefully, especially the part about not leaving the cookies in the oven too long, you will have the World’s Best Sugar Cookies.