These are you basic Martha Stewart-ish sugar cookies. They bake up crispy on the outside but still really tender inside. The recipe is from Cookie Craft Christmas by Valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer. I had intended to practice fancy icing and decorating techniques with these cookies, but after about 3 minutes I got much too impatient using a pastry bag, and switched to putting on the icing with the back of a spoon. Though not super fancy, the cookies were still really good.
Rolled Sugar Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl.
Cream together the butter and sugar with your mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well blended.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until the two are thoroughly blended.
Turn the dough onto a work surface and divide into two or three equal portions. Form each one into a rough disk. Now you're ready to roll, chill, and cut out cookie shapes.
Roll out the dough between two pieces of waxed paper until it is 1/4" thick. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough with a cookie cutter. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a 350F oven for about 12 to 16 minutes or until the cookies start to turn slightly golden around the edges.
Cool the cookies completely before icing.
I made a royal icing to decorate the cookies which is 4 cups of powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons meringue powder, 12 tablespoons of warm water and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, all mixed really well with a hand mixer. If you don't want to make a royal icing, you can sprinkle sugar on the cookies before they bake, dust them with powdered sugar when they're warm from the oven, or sandwich two cookies together with jam or Nutella.