For some reason I have always had trouble making good sugar cookies. I found this recipe highly rated and tried it out for the midsummer party we were having with some friends. They were awesome, so soft and held together perfectly. You could do more interesting things with the glaze, but I was out of time and food coloring so we went with vanilla.
(makes about 30-40 cookies)
1 1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and add dry ingredients to the mix. Cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour (to overnight)
Preheat oven to 400. Roll out dough on a floured (or sugared) surface to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes and place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes, cool completely. If desired, you can glaze them for a more polished look.
Cookie Glaze: (covers about 30-40 cookies)
2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
4 Tbsp water
food coloring (optional)
flavoring (I used 1/2 tsp vanilla)
Mix the glaze in a shallow bowl and dip the cookies face down, making sure the liquid reaches all parts of the cookie top. Allow excess to drip off the cookie, then set aside. The glaze will become smooth and hard as it dries (about 10 minutes).