Not much, my friends, not much.
The recipe below is the one I use every year. The dough is easy to assemble, the cookies smell absolutely wonderful while baking, AND, the fact that they're an uncomplicated and simple (and addictive) cookie means you can't go wrong. Because everybody loves them.
One warning, though: this recipe makes many cookies... and I assure you that, unless you have incredible self-control, it is very hard to only eat one, as, like I said earlier, they are ADDICTIVE.
Of course, these don't have to be for Christmas. They can be for Easter, St. Patrick's day...
The frosting can be a little tricky, true. But if you want to go for an uncomplicated cookie decor, I will give you a few tips. Just keep reading.
THE BEST SUGAR COOKIES
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Sift flour, salt, and baking powder, then set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine (or butter) and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed. Cover dough and chill for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 200 °C (400 °F). Prepare and grease cookie sheets. On a clean floured surface, roll out small portions of the chilled dough to about 1/4 inch thickness (although I never measure). Cut out shapes with your cookie cutters.
- Bake cookies in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until the edges are barely brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
- Decorate! Or leave them plain and enjoy right away.
For the icing, I used Martha Stewart's recipe. If you click on the sentence you just read you'll be redirected towards it.
Now, all of those who have made sugar cookies before remember their first try at decorating.
When you start decorating, you have something like this in mind:
But then they end up looking like this:
So if you're a beginner and you're looking for an easy way to decorate your cookies, I suggest you spread white icing on your cookie and sprinkle colored sugar all over it, like I did on this Christmas tree:
Otherwise, for Christmas, if you make round cookies, you can draw these adorable little reindeer using an icing pen or one of those little cake decorator tubes you can buy at the supermarket. And if you want, you can use m&m's for the noses. Most of mine are little Rudolphs!
And again, if it's Christmas, you can follow this year's trend and make melting snowmen. I've seen melting snowmen cakes, cookies, cupcakes... a little sadistic, right? The good news is, they're really easy to make! And c'mon, they are just so cute.
I used a soft mint for the head, because the original idea was to use a marshmallow but since they have gelatin I searched the candy aisle and found these instead:
It was a great idea because it really looks like snow... and to me it looks more realistic than those made with marshmallows!
I hope these tips were helpful to you! Enjoy :)