Best Sugar Cookies

This is the best sugar cookie recipe, its soft yet crunchy, a perfect cookie for decorating.
I’ve made these cookies every Christmas since 1984 with my kids and then with the grandkids.
I love those community cook books, this one has been adapted from a 4H cookbook.
( The recipe was called “Polly’s Mother’s Christmas Cookies” the recipe was donated by Joice M. Beatty, Napa, Ca.)
Best sugar cookies, homemade cookies with homemade butter-cream frosting. good for holiday baking and gift giving.
You will need:
1 cup butter
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup of milk ( I use half and half)
2 large eggs
optional items to add:
1 tablespoon vanilla paste- for the light colored cookies-if you use the paste and not extract-remember you will see little dark dots in the vanilla cookies and the buttercream.
1/3 cup dark baking chocolate powder- for the chocolate cookies.
I usually make a batch of both and later you will see why I decided to do this.
Best sugar cookies, homemade cookies with homemade butter-cream frosting. good for holiday baking and gift giving.
Now this is a little different so read the recipe carefully.
Mix the softened butter together with the flour and baking powder. ( Weird right?)- add the chocolate to the dry ingredients here.
It will look a little like pie crust- crumbly
Separately, mix the sugar, milk and eggs and vanilla in a bowl.
Add the sugar mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together.
When it basically is one big ball of dough, wrap it in plastic wrap or whatever you choose to use and put into the refrigerator overnight.
This is required for this dough.  The least amount of time it can be in the refrigerator would be somewhere around 6-8 hours.
Best sugar cookies, homemade cookies with homemade butter-cream frosting. good for holiday baking and gift giving.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
This dough gets pretty stiff so while you are gathering the rolling pin, and all the cookie cutters take it out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temp.

Add flour to the cutting board and to the rolling pin and start rolling the dough.  I usually cut the dough into smaller more manageable pieces.
Roll dough to 1/4″ thickness.  If they are thicker they will be softer cookies, and you will need to bake longer.
I put foil on the cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray.
Space the cookies at least 1″ apart, they will puff a little.

Cook for 10-12 minutes.  10 minutes they will be softer, 12 minutes crunchier.  They will not be brown, except maybe a little on the edges if you cook them the full 12 minutes.

If they are brown then the oven is too hot or you cooked them too long.

Here is the reason I make both vanilla and chocolate.
Best sugar cookies, homemade cookies with homemade butter-cream frosting. good for holiday baking and gift giving.
After I’ve cut all the other shapes I roll out into rectangles both the leftover vanilla and chocolate and then place one on top of the other and roll. Cut into slices and flatten to 1/4″.  Bake the same as the other cookies.  These cookies are softer.

For all those that don’t want to make the buttercream frosting and do all the decorating.  This cookies is still perfect if you just add colored sugar or sprinkles before baking.

I have to thank my daughter for taking most of these pictures for me, they turned out awesome.