These cut out cookies are really easy to make when you know the secrets to cutting out the shapes. Make sure your dough is chilled (after rolling out twice, I stick it in the freezer and grab the next chunk so one batch gets cool, and I can keep working), and I also dust my work surface, and my rolling pin frequently with flour, to keep the dough from sticking. I used to worry about my cookies tasting like too much flour, but I think this recipe expects you to add more flour as you work with the dough. This recipe came from my grandma, and she made these every year at Christmas time. She would frost them with her
powdered sugar frosting and my uncle and I would put the sprinkles on them. We still honor that tradition, only I do the frosting, and my daughter and her great uncle do the sprinkling. We did decide to add color to our frosting though--grandma only used white, while we have had some pretty wild looking Christmas cookies as you can see in some of my photos. Also, one year, my daughter wanted her birthday treat to be pink and lime green frosted cut out cookies. Surprisingly, they were a big hit with the kids.
-1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 egg, beaten
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-2 tablespoons milk (use whole milk-skim may work but I've never tried it and you might need the extra cream)
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-pinch of salt (you can tell this was grandma's recipe) or approximately 1/8 of a teaspoon
-2 1/2 cups flour
In a mixing bowl, blend the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg. Dissolve the baking soda into the milk, and add it to your mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, flour last so you can add it slowly, and blend it in without having all the ingredients fly all over your counter. Chill the dough for about 2 hours so it's nice and cool. The warmer it is, the more it likes to stick. Roll it out to 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch if you like a thicker cookie. In our house, the thicker the cookie, the more frosting you need to use.