I think sugar cookies are a very personal thing. I won’t claim to have the best recipe for everyone, but this is, hands down, the best recipe I’ve ever found for my family.
Here’s what this recipe is:
Rich and buttery; with hints of vanilla and almond
Holds its shape incredibly well (no spreading)
Crisp and crunchy on the outside; tender on the inside
Here’s what this recipe is NOT:
Thin and crispy
Some people really like those crisp, paper-thin sugar cookies. I am not one of them. I like a nice thick, buttery, tender cookie with a crispy outer crust. This recipe is actually one used for cookie bouquets so the dough is nice and sturdy.
For the icing, when I’m decorating with my kids I do not want something where we have to pipe on a border and then flood it with runnier icing. That looks great, but it’s too complicated. I discovered this paint-on icing at a cooking class, and it’s the easiest and most beautiful alternative. It dries smooth and shiny.
Tip: Refrigerating the dough just before baking is key to the cookie holding its shape and not spreading. Don’t skip it!