Icing the cookies may be the most fun part of Christmas baking, but the cookie base is the unsung hero. Nacia Walsh is here to show us how to make the perfect one: crumbly, crispy and soft at the same time.
Technique Tip: An infant syringe (the type that comes with liquid medication such as Tylenol) is the perfect tool to frost and decorate cookies for more precise detailing, especially if you want to use several colors on the same cookie.
- 1½ cups butter, softened
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 2 to 2½ tablespoons room temperature water (more to thin)
For the sugar cookies:
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
For the icing:
Whisk the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. If it is too thick, add 1/2 tablespoon more water.