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Unwrapped: The Perfect Sugar Cookie

A look into one of my family's favorite traditions.

I crave Christmas every year. Before the Thanksgiving leftovers are even gobbled up, I’m already dreaming about my family’s traditional Christmas spreads to come – hot breakfast casserole, butterscotch haystack cookies, mini beef Wellingtons, and a cheese platter that captures every tastebud. It’s my mom’s recipes that give me a sense of comfort, a sense of belonging, a sense of home.  And this year, she reminded me even more what home tastes like – and my childhood, too.

A few days ago, I came home to find my mom making classic, rolled sugar cookies – a treat she hadn’t whipped up in some time but with me, my brother and sister in mind. Seeing her in the kitchen took me instantly back to my childhood. She would single out a day after school to make these timeless treats with us. My mom would roll the dough, help us gently cut the cookies, and bake them to the perfect hue. While the cookies cooled, mom transformed our kitchen table into an art studio, adorned with every color icing, confection and sprinkle you could imagine. She told us to doll them up however we liked. There were no mistakes because every cookie was a masterpiece to her.

So you can imagine how my heart instantly warmed when I came home to these cookies this year. They're super soft but still hold their shape wonderfully while baking. And on top of that, they tasted even better than I remembered, so I just had to share the recipe. 

Ingredients:

¾ cups butter, softened
1 cups white sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
2½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Cream together butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.

Form dough in bowl, cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out dough on floured surface to ½-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutter and bake on ungreased cookie sheet for six to eight minutes. Cookies should be almost white in color.

Cool on rack and decorate with icing and as many sprinkles as your heart desires.

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