Every year around the holidays, my Mom used to bust our her incredible sugar cookie recipe. She would bake dozens of them and all of us kids would sit at the table and decorate them for hours and hours. I can remember glowing at all the designs we would come up with on all the Christmas cutouts. These are some of my fondest holiday memories, and now that I am older, I still have just as much fun making my own cookies and reminiscing as I “paint” them.

The secret to making these cookies the best is to not skimp out on the dough – you gotta make these babies thick!! Most recipes will say to roll the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch – I say, at least double that for the perfect soft sugar cookie. Here’s what you need (this recipe makes about 4 dozen if rolled out nice and thick):

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

First, mix together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then add flour, baking powder and salt. At this point, you can chill the dough if you desire (some recipes call for this), but I can never wait. So if your impatient like me, just keep going…

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and start rolling out your dough on a floured surface (also don’t forget to flour your rolling pin, or the dough will stick to EVERYTHING). Make sure the dough is thick and even, then start using your favorite cookie cutters. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until you see the bottoms start to brown. You can cook them longer if you like a crispier cookie.

Once finished, eat one and let the rest cool. If you don’t wait through the cooling process all of the cookie “paint” will drip right off and look awful. For the “paint”, mix together powdered sugar and milk until it reaches a nice pasty texture. I like to make 4 or 5 small cups of it so I can have lots of colors to choose from – just use a drop of food coloring in each. I will try to post pictures of these delectable little guys the next time I make them. Unfortunately, I was in such a rush last time that I forgot to take any photos.

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