As I searched Google for a match to this recipe today, I realized that there are as many variations on the sugar cookie recipe as there are ways to shape and decorate them.  It is crazy.  Some have white sugar, some brown.  Some have lemon zest.

I have had my share of sugar cookies in my day and these are by far the best I have had.  These cookies are not cake-like.  They are buttery and have a bit of a crunch to them.  My Mom has used this recipe forever and I always look forward to them at Christmas, though we do make them for other occasions.  They are so simple and dependable  — what you see is what you get.

My husband has informed me that these are his favorite cookies.  Period.  With all of the many, many kinds of cookies we see every Christmas, that is quite an endorsement.  My daughter loves them because they are cookies and they give her a chance to play with sprinkles.  Lots of sprinkles.

Old Family Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 c         confectioner’s sugar

2 sticks       butter

1                    egg

1 t                 vanilla

1/2 t              almond extract

2 1/2 c          flour

1 t                   baking soda

1 t                  cream of tartar

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

*In a large bowl, cream together confectioner’s sugar and softened butter.  Beat in egg, vanilla and almond extract.

*In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Add to butter mixture.  Wrap dough in waxed paper and chill overnight.

* Roll dough onto a floured surface to a thickness of 1/8″.  Cut, place cutouts on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake 8-11- minutes or until slightly golden.

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To ice these cookies, I usually just grab a bowl and play mad scientist, mixing confectioner’s sugar and water until I get a thickness I like.  It’s a decent method, but I found an icing recipe at Smashed Peas and Carrots that is very similar, simple and dependable.  It gives the icing a bit more body, so to speak, and I love that it starts out nice and thick.  I actually needed to add a touch of liquid to all of my colors to get them to move well enough for my daughter to handle.  While I was hanging out at Smashed Peas and Carrots, I saw these adorable melted snowman cookies.  Aren’t they the cutest?

I am not a fan of working with marshmallows, but these were worth it.  I think if I perfected the technique, these could be a fun “Good-bye, Winter” treat down the road.

With that, I am signing off for a few days.  Merry Christmas!  I hope that you have a warm and blessed holiday.

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