Christmas Sugar Cookies

Now that it`s 2014, I thought I`d share my Christmas cookies. One of my closest friends developed a sugar cookie recipe that turns out cookies that maintain their shape and are soft. The plate of cookies above took me about 5 hours from start to finish. Decorating is fun but very time consuming. I thought I`d share the wealth and post the recipe! Enjoy all! cookies baking decorating foodporn

`The Best` Sugar Cookies
Prep: 35 minutes Chill: 30 minutes Bake: 7 min per batch Oven: 375 F
Yield: approx 36 cookies

2/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined, scarping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375F. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cook.

Royal Icing:

In a large bowl, combine 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted), 3 tablespoons meringue powder and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar. Add 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, then beat on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until icing is very stiff. I use this consistency for the piping. At this point I divide it up for coloring using paste coloring. For filling and spreading consistency add water 1 teaspoon at a time (can take up to 2 to 4 tablespoons depending on how many colors you have). If adding cookies sugar or decorative candies, do so while frosting is wet.

Cookies will keep at room temp for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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