2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup butter 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer the shapes to the prepared baking sheets. Repeat the procedure for the remaining dough.
NOTE: An essential step to keep the cookie dough from spreading and helping the cut edges to retain their shape while baking is to put the cut out cookies on the baking sheets in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Then put them directly into the preheated oven.
Bake for 8 to10 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to brown around the edges. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Cool the cookies completely before adding any icing.
These sugar cookies are soft and tender and not overly sweet. By simply using different cookie cutter shapes you can make beautiful cookies for holidays, birthdays, weddings, showers, or any special event. Sugar cookies are a very flavorful cookie on their own but they can also be beautifully decorated with royal icing. For more information on royal icing cookie decorating techniques, click here.