Before my son was born, I used to make fancy oversized sugar cookies that I piped and flooded and flocked. It was fun and labor-intensive and gratifying, not to mention delicious. But I'm more realistic now and I simply don't have the time or inclination to do that anymore.
My son, however, is a full-fledged cookie addict and there's nothing he loves more than rolling out the dough, cutting the shapes, and decorating with sprinkles. In fact, the kind of decorating I remember my grandmother doing over the holidays. We went back to that this year, and unlike their more elaborate counterparts, we were able to make dozens in an evening. We gifted them to classmates and friends, and filled our cookie jar as well.
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened slightly
2 cups granulated white sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; gradually add to the batter, mixing on low speed.
3. Wrap dough and chill, at least one hour.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Roll the dough out on a well-floured board (1/4-inch for crispier cookies, 1/2-inch for shortbread like cookies); cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before baking.
5. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes. Let sit on pans for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frosting: Mix confectioners' sugar with whole milk and fresh lemon juice, to a consistency that's thin enough to brush onto the tops of the cookies, but won't run off. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of cookies with the frosting, immediately add sprinkles, then set aside to dry for about 30 minutes before packaging.
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