Soft Sugar Cookies
I know, I know, there are half a trillion recipes for sugar cookies on the web. Every single one of them claims to be the best. So - I won't make any such claims, but this is the recipe that I use most. These cookies are soft and just lightly sweet. In my opinion, sugar cookies are best when they are not too sweet - - that way, they are a much better base for the sweet buttercream frosting that I prefer on sugar cookies.
This recipe was given to me by a co-worker from my college days. Thanks Marla! If I remember correctly, she told me it was her grandma's recipe, so you know it has stood the test of time.
The key to keeping these cookies soft and scrumptious is you need to avoid overbaking them. They should look just barely done on the top and should be ever-so-lightly golden on the bottom when you take them out of the oven.
I don't make these often. (In fact, these photos are from last year.) Every other year, or so, my boys and I have fun cutting these cookies out, baking them, and then frosting them up and decorating them with sprinkles, candy, whatever we have on hand that we feel will work. As you can see, they are super cute, even when decorated by young boys who are just having fun and not striving for perfection. It makes for some yummy eating and even better memories!
When cutting out the cookies, remember that the first batch will always be the best, so try to cut the cookies out as closely together as you can. After you have put your cookies on the cookie sheets, you can then gather up the scraps and re-roll them as many times as you need in order to use up the rest of the dough. Just use a light hand. While the second, third, etc. batches will not be quite as perfect as the first, they will still be delicious and well worth re-rolling that dough.
I am not sharing a recipe for the frosting for these cookies. To be honest, I have never really found a buttercream that I think is "perfect". If I ever do, I will get right on sharing it with you. Until then, if you make these sugar cookies, just frost them with your favorite buttercream icing and I am sure you will be happy.