Classic Sugar Cookies

One of the treats I look forward to most is a good, old-fashioned sugar cookie with frosting and sprinkles, ideally made with this recipe. It has a little almond flavor which is a little different from your run-of-the-mill cookie. You can substitute lemon extract for the almond extract, or even add some lemon or orange zest.

Traditionally, I make these at Christmastime and have wonderful memories of spending a whole afternoon decorating these cookies with my mom to give to all our neighbors. But they are so good, I try to think up excuses to make them. St. Patrick’s Day is coming up…how about some shamrock sugar cookies?

Classic Sugar Cookies

2 sticks butter (1 cup), softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and stir in the extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; blend into the butter mixture. Cover and chill for at least two hours.

Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes and place at least one inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 8 minutes until they are lightly browned on the edges. Let cool for a few minutes before removing them to wire rack to cool completely.

Sugar Cookie Frosting

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
food coloring (optional)

Mix together the confectioners’ sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add an extra tablespoon of milk if the frosting is too stiff. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired and mix.