I've shared this recipe before, but I thought with Easter coming and likely we will all be spending it indoors, it is definitely worth sharing again. These are hands down the best sugar cookies I've ever had! The recipe was passed down from a friend's Mom years ago. I first made them for an Easter brunch and they were such a huge hit, I have made them for almost every holiday since... Christmas, Valentine's Day & many other special occasions. Also, once you make the dough, you can freeze it and easily pull out to bake as needed.
Since we are all stuck inside right now, it is a great time to bake. My daughter Daphne loves them, we started baking them together when she was about four years old, and now she is eight and can practically cook them by herself.
The ingredients, simple and easy to find, are as follows. (This quantity will make about 3 dozen cookies and can be doubled, tripled, etc. as needed):
All Purpose Flour (3 CUPS)
Sugar (3/4 CUP)
Milk (3 TABLESPOONS - I prefer to use whole milk)
Vanilla Extract (2 TEASPOONS)
(1 1/2 TEASPOON)
Butter (1 CUP)
Box of Confectioners Sugar
To make the dough, first sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Then cream the butter (melted), sugar, egg, milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla (the other 1/2 teaspoon will be for the frosting). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until blended. Chill for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
Once chilled, removed dough from fridge, knead to soften and roll and cut into shapes. I like to make the cookies about 1/4" thick, pre-baking. Spread some flour on the counter and on top of dough while rolling to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. Try to roll and cut them all at an even thickness so they bake consistently. Then, bake for 6-8 minutes in preheated oven at 400 degrees.
Don't overbake... these taste better if they are almost undercooked so do not let them brown too much on the bottom, if at all. Once cookies are removed from the oven, I like to let them cool at least 45 minutes. If you try to frost them while they are still too warm, the icing becomes runny and messy.
To make the frosting, mix together the box of confectioners sugar with 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of whole milk. You can add more milk as needed for consistency. Then, just spread with a knife and decorate as desired. Once frosted, I like to leave them to set for at least another 2-3 hours, especially if you are going to stack them on a plate or in a tin or box - they make a great holiday, get well, or thank you gift!
This classic vintage sugar cookie recipe will never go out of style. In that vein, I thought I'd also share a few photos of our kitchen in Charleston...built in 1948 we have changed very little, preserving the original mint green tile, heart pine floors and replacing the appliances with comparably "retro style" appliances from GE. It is one of my favorite rooms in our house, full of light and charm... a comforting place to be right now.