Martha Stewart’s Ideal Sugar Cookies

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Do you and your family have any holiday customs spent in the kitchen? Martha Stewart’s holiday tradition is baking her signature decorated sugar cookies in different Christmas shapes. From stars and tree to Santa and reindeer, there’s a cookie for every holiday symbol.

Read LIW’s full interview with Martha Stewart: Domestic Goddess

Sugar Cookies

Makes two dozen cookies

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp brandy or milk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Royal Icing, optional

Royal Icing

1 box confectioners’ sugar (1 lb.)
5 Tbsp meringue powder, or 2 large egg whites

For Cookies

1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; mix until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add egg, brandy, and vanilla; mix until well combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add reserved flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

2. Transfer dough to a clean surface. Shape into 2 disks, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and transfer to prepared sheets, spaced 1 inch apart. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer sheets to wire racks; let cool completely.

5. Decorate with royal icing, if desired.

For Royal Icing

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed, add a scant ½ cup water. For a thinner consistency, add more water. (A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and adding details). Mix until icing holds a ribbonlike trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle.

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

Domestic Goddess

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