Ten years ago I got this recipe from a neighbor and I have been using it every year at Christmas time to make sugar cookies to decorate for the holidays.  I make a double batch and invite all the neighborhood kids over for a big messy cookie decorating party.  But you don’t need to wait for December to make these delicious cookies – give them a try! (Mostly) Dry Ingredients: 3 cups flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ cup butter at room temperature   ½ cup shortening ( I use Crisco) Wet Ingredients: 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla ¼ teaspoon salt For the optional icing: 1 box confection sugar several different small colored bottles of food coloring optional cookie sprinkles Mix the mostly dry ingredients together like you would pie crust dough, and combine well.  Mix the wet ingredients separately.  Then combine all the ingredients well together and chill the batter for at least one hour so that it will roll out well. Take a fist sized amount of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin on a very lightly floured surface.  Take care not to use too much flour because if too much gets into the dough it will affect the way the cookies bake.  Roll it out to about a ¼ inch thickness and cut the dough using your favorite cookie cutter.  Roll up the scrap dough and “recycle” it into the bowl and take another fist sized amount and repeat. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes on a lightly greased cookie sheet and watch the cookies carefully.  I don’t know if your oven is hotter or cooler than mine so you will have to experiment a little with the cooking time. For the optional icing just take about ⅓ to ½ cup of the confection sugar and add just enough water to make a slightly runny paste.  Add a few drops of the food coloring to get the color that you want.  You can add cookie sprinkles on top of the icing, too.  I’m sorry that I am not more precise about the icing measurements; I always mix this by eye and never refer to a recipe.  Make the paste runny enough so that when spooned or brushed onto each cookie the icing flows across the top of the cookie.  But make it stiff enough that it does not run all over the place.  You can err a little on the stiff side since in a few minutes the icing will spread a little by itself.  I find that I must cool the cookies first otherwise the icing gets warmed by the cookie and becomes more runny.  I hope this helps – the kids have a really good time with their cookie decorating!
Christmas Sugar Cookies with Icing
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