Classic Sugar Cookies

Not as unextraordinary as the name implies, a classic sugar cookie can be served for almost any occasion or holiday. It can be dressed up with beautiful designs made from colorful royal icing and even finished off with bright sprinkles or elegant gum paste flowers. Cookie cutters can transform this dough into any shape you desire and the flavor can be slightly adjusted using vanilla, lemon or almond extract. Let your imagination run wild and let your inner artist express yourself on this perfect edible canvas!
Makes: Approximately 2 Dozen Regular Sized Cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsps pure vanilla extract (or 1 tsp almond extract)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Use an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. The butter mixture should turn a pale yellow color.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Stir in vanilla or almond extract.
  5. Add flour mixture. Beat on low speed until combined thoroughly.
  6. Divide dough evenly into thirds, placed in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 F.
  8. Lightly dust a Silpat mat with flour. Roll dough out to 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Cut out desired shapes and remove excess dough. Note: Excess dough can be reformed into a disc, chilled in plastic wrap, and rolled out again.
  9. Refrigerate cut out cookies until firm, at least 15 minutes.
  10. Bake chilled cookies until the edges are golden brown, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
  11. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Decorate with royal icing.