I used this recipe in WINTER OF WISHES, but it bears repeating here: this is the cookie that turns an ordinary cookie tray into a fabulous display of Christmas cookies! I usually make five to six batches of this dough, adding paste coloring and flavored gelatin (see note below). I make and chill the dough one day, bake the cookies another day and store them in a covered container, and then decorate them the next day because it takes that long to finish about 13 dozen of these!
1/2 C. butter, softened (no substitutes)
1 C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients and gradually add them to the dough until it’s well blended. Tint with paste food coloring, if desired. Wrap dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours (it will keep for several days, until you have time to bake).
Preheat oven to 350º. Work with half a batch at a time: roll to about 1/4” thickness on a floured surface, then cut with cookie cutters. Place 1” apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, and bake 7-8 minutes for softer, chewier cookies and 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned for crisp cookies. Cool on the pan for a minute and then remove with a spatula to a cooling rack. Makes 2-3 dozen.
Kitchen Hint: For flavored sugar cookies, add a 3 oz. package of sugar free gelatin to the dough! I make green dough with lime, yellow dough with peach or orange, and dark pink dough with cherry gelatin. If you use regular sugar gelatin, reduce the sugar in your recipe by a couple of tablespoons.