Introduction: Perfect Sugar Cookies

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This is the perfect recipe for sugar cookies when you need to cut out detailed shapes.  The ratios of dry ingredients to liquids ensures that the cookies don't spread too much when you bake them, making them ideal for cookie cutters!  I've used this recipe both for cookie bouquets, and moustache cookies, and am sure I will use it many times again in the future.

Allow a good two hours to refrigerate the dough before baking.  This makes cutting the shapes much easier.

Step 1: Ingredients

Get your butter and egg out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to mixing for best results.  Even though you are going to refrigerate this dough for an hour or more, creaming together the butter and sugar is considerably easier when the ingredients are all room temperature!

1 cup (8oz) butter, room temperature
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla (or your favorite) extract
3 cups (375g) flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Step 2:

Cream together butter and sugar, scraping sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.  Start on a medium speed, and gradually increase to highest speed possible until mixture is light in both color and texture.

Add egg and vanilla. Mix well.

Sift together dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture with the mixer on a low speed.  Scrape the bowl often.  Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours

Step 3: Roll, Cut, and Bake

Roll out your chilled cookie dough to about 1/4" thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap.  Using plastic wrap instead of a floured surface means you can re-roll the scraps without them getting tough from the addition of too much flour.

I recommend dividing your dough into two portions before rolling, and keeping the other refrigerated.  Then when you've cut out one batch, you can gather up and refrigerate the scraps from it while you roll out the next batch.  This keeps your dough chilled and easy to work with.

Cut out whatever shapes you desire.  I recommend mustaches!

Bake at 350F (180C) for 10-12 minutes, adjusting time to compensate for size of cookie.