Sugar Cookies

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Forget sugar plums and icicles and reach for sugar cookies and icing instead. Chef Molly Hanson has a recipe for crispy holiday cookies that will delight kids and adults alike: “It is hands down my favorite holiday cookie, because it is very buttery and crisp,” Hanson says. “My girls prefer the larger size cookies, whereas I prefer smaller ones with a good, deep color from baking, but we all agree on as much icing as possible.”

See more holiday cookie recipes here.


For the cookies:
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the icing:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, plus a little extra
  • Fresh lemon juice


For the cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and scrape down the mixer bowl.
  5. Add the dry ingredients. Incorporate until smooth, taking care not to over mix.
  6. Divide dough into four pieces, plastic wrap them and flatten into discs. Refrigerate for about one hour until the dough feels cool and almost firm.
  7. Sprinkle a light amount of flour onto a sheet of parchment and roll the discs, one at a time, out to about 1/8-inch thick. (Work quickly so as not to lose the chill on the dough. If at any point the dough starts feeling too soft, return it to the refrigerator.)
  8. Cut cookies to desired shapes and move them to a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill the cookies for 10-15 minutes before baking. Leftover scraps can be chilled and rerolled one time.
  9. Bake until lightly colored in the middle and nicely golden brown around the edges. Cool the cookies on racks.
For the icing: 
  1. Slowly add lemon juice to powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Icing should not be drippy, but should be thin enough to smooth out with holding out peaks. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Divide icing and color if desired.
To serve:
  1. Spread icing on top of cooled cookies. Decorate as desired.

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