Susan Marmion

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

1 cup sweet butter (NEVER margarine!)
1 1/2 cups sugar

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sour cream (never fat free or low fat!)

Beat in egg yolks, then vanilla extract, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sour cream. Gradually add 5 cups all-purpose flour until all is incorporated.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes. Place 1/2 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake 12 minutes, then remove to wire racks.

Makes 10 dozen

IMPORTANT: I bake the cookies only until the edges are BEGINNING to brown, then I take them out immediately -- not sure how long, maybe 10 minutes. You've got to watch them bake. Taking them out sooner makes the cookie's texture softer, chewier. If the whole cookie browns, they'll be crispier.

The batter does not have to be refrigerated before rolling. But, cooling it does make the batter easier to work with. I usually chill for about an hour. But, I find that if the batter is refrigerated for many hours/days, it has to sit at room temperature for an hour or so before rolling, because the butter and other ingredients get really hard and make rolling difficult.

Icing

1-2 lb. bag of confectioner’s sugar
10-12 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla (or almond) flavoring
Food coloring

Mix until moistened, and texture is smooth -- consistency not too loose, not too heavy. Watch for drip from mixer to settle in bowl at a moderate rate. Allow 8-10 hours for cookies to dry.