This was once my “secret recipe” for Sugar Cookies. I’m not very good at secrets, and it’s much more fun to share anyway. Yields about 7 dozen 3-inch cookies, so there's plenty for cookie swaps and gifting!
In a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
On low speed, gradually add dry mixture to wet mixture. Dough will be very stiff. Wrap or cover dough and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, knead dough a few times. This will help cut-outs keep their shape while baking. Roll out dough to ¼” to ½” thickness while it is still cold. Use cookie cutters for desired shapes.
Bake for 7-9 minutes, depending on size and thickness of dough. Cool completely. Frost as desired.
This dough should be kneaded a little after chilling. Incorporating just a bit more flour into the dough helps the cookies hold their cut shape. You still want your snowflake to look like a snowflake, and not bake into a blob. This will help. Cut the dough in two after chilling. Work with one portion and leave the other portion in the refrigerator to stay cold. This will also help with the shape issue.The softened butter should still be just a little cool to the touch, and not completely room temperature. Warm, or room temperature butter will make your dough extremely sticky. It’s a bit harder to work with.Bake on parchment paper. It makes life so much easier in the long-run. No sticking, easier clean up… it’s something that I can’t live without.